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^A -^^33. Z. 





CLASS OF 1828 























" Of all kinds of painting, Fresco Painting is th« finest and most masterij." 

Vasabi. — Pachbco. 





TA 4^33. L- 

-y^cr c 














Colours used in Fresco Painting 


Red Colours — Amatito. . 

• • • 


Siaopia . . 

. . xxix 

Blue Colours 

. . xxxiv 

Green Colours . . 


Black Colours . 

.. Uii 

White, Yellow, and Brown Colours 

. . liii 

Concluding Remarks . . 




Of Guevara 

Directions and Observations of Vitruvius with the commentary 

of Guevara 
Directions of the Monk Theophilus 
Of Leon Batista Alberti. . 

Directions and Observations of Leon Batista Alberti 
Directions of Cennino Cennini . . 
Of Vasari 

Directions and Observations of Vasari . . 
Of Borghini 

Directions and Observations of Borghini 
Of Armenino 

Directions and Observations of Armenino 
Of Andrea Pozzo . . t . 

Directions and Observations of Andrea Pozzo . . 
Of Pacheco 

Directions and Observations of Pacheco 
Of Palomino 

Directions and Observations of Palomino 
Directions of John Martin 





Practice of the Early Italian School . . . . . . . . 91 

Of the Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 

Of the Colouring and Colours . . . . . . 105 

Of the use of Gold on Fresco . . . . ..110 

Instances of the durability of external Frescoes . . . . 114 

Causes of the destruction of Frescoes . . . . . . ..115 

Of Retouching, Repairing, and Cleaning Frescoes . . . . 119 

Of the Repairs of the Gallery of the Carracci in the Palazzo 

Farnese, and of the Loggia of Raffaello at the Lungara 122 

J UUvX .. .. •• •• .. .. •• ,.J.4b«y 


The revival of the art of Fresco Painting in the nineteenth 
century, will be an epoch in the fine arts, and, will probably, be 
the means of forming a great school of painting in this country, 
and lead to the improvement of the sister arts of sculpture and 
architecture. The moment it was determined to decorate the 
new Houses of Parliament with fresco paintings, it became 
important to ascertain the mode adopted by the great masters 
of the Italian and Spanish schools. To accomplish this desirable 
object, it became necessary to recur to the old treatises on the 
subject, especially those written in the ItaUan and Spanish 
languages. This inquiry was fortunately undertaken by a 
gentleman fully competent to the task. The result was pre- 
sented to the public in the valuable reports of the commissioners 
on the fine arts. The path of inquiry was well traced out in 
these reports, and the subject coinciding with my own pursuits 
and inclinations, I was induced to pursue the inquiry, from the 
persuasion, that the introduction of the art into this country, 
would be the means of founding a great English school of 

Independent of other considerations, there appear to me to be 
certain analogies between Italy, during the period the fine arts 
flourished in that country, and England at the present time, 
which strengthens this persuasion. The same wealth and splen- 
dour of our nobles and merchants, the same commercial prosperity, 
and, above all, the same spirit of inquiry, which characterised 
Italy at the period I have mentioned, is applicable to England at 
the present moment. The advantage is on the side of England. 


Almost all the writers of eminence^ mention fresco paintings as 
the highest branch of the art. The most competent judges have 
expressed opinions^ that in comprehensiveness of subject^ boldness 
of design^ faciUty of execution^ and in durabiUty, it exceeds all 
other kinds of paintings especially for the decoration of temples^ 
palaces, and great public buildings. It has been practised by 
men of the highest order of genius. It is only necessary to 
mention the names of the Carracci, Michael Angelo, Raphael, 
and Correggio, to shew how highly this branch of the art was 
formerly appreciated, even if the value set on the cartoons, the 
rough drafts of paintings in fresco, were not sufficient to establish 
its superiority. These considerations, added to the favorable 
reception of my translation of Cennino Gennini, on painting, 
encouraged me to follow the path of inquiry, traced out in the 
Reports of the Commissioners. 

By long discontinuance, the art had become almost entirely 
lost. The practice of painting on walls, in the manner described 
by Vitruvius, that is, partly in fresco, and partly in secco, 
appears to have been continued throughout the dark ages, by 
the Greeks, who instructed the ItaUans. According to Zanetti, 
the Greek style was taught by a Greek artist of Constantinople, 
who, about the year 1200, kept a school for painting, at Venice, 
to which many foreigners resorted for instruction, and from the 
same author we learn, that the Greek style was practised until 
the middle of the fourteenth century. 

The earliest modem writer, whose work has been preserved, 
is Theophihis, a monk, who is supposed to have lived between 
the ninth and thirteenth centuries, but the exact period is 
unknown. He professes to teach ^^all the knowledge of the 
Greeks respecting colours.'^ A manuscript, which I examined in 
the Bibliotheque Boyale, at Paris, dated in 1431, contains a 
version in old French, of some parts of the work of Theophilus, 
which shews that his treatise had then become known. 


The following series comprise the principal authors, who have 
treated practically on fresco painting : — 

- Theophilus MS. between the years. . . . 1000-1300. 
MS. in the BibUotheque Royale 1431. 

- Cennino Gennini MS. (published in 1821.) . . 1437. 
Leon Batista Alberti 1485. 

>-. Vasari 1547. 

Guevara 1550-1557. 

Borghini 1584. 

Armenini 1587. 

Gespedes 1608. 

Pacheco 1641. 

Pozzo 1693-1702. 

Palomino 1715-1724. 

Mengs 1779. 

Gommencing therefore with Theophilus, the series of writers 
on fresco painting, embrace the periods of its commencement, 
progress, and decline. I believe there is no important practical 
point, which has- not been explained by some one or other of the 
above series of authors, most of whom were also artists. The 
reader will be able to judge, by the extracts in this work, how 
perfectly the practical part of the art had been preserved and 
transmitted, by a succession of authors, treating expressly or 
incidentally on the subject. 

Between the period when Gennino wrote his treatise, and the 
publication of the work of Vasari, the art had advanced rapidly; 
Leonardo da Vinci, Michael Angelo, Raphael, and Gorreggio 
had lived and died. The Sistine Ghapel, the Vatican, and the 
Duomo of Parma, had been painted. The practice of fresco 
painting was changed in some important points ; Gartoons were 
prepared with the greatest care, the figures being drawn either 
from the life, or from models in clay, from which, when placed 
on the wall, the picture was traced, and correctness of outline 
secured. The old custom of painting much of the drapery in 


secco was discountenanced^ and the perfection of fresco paintings 
as far as concerned the mechanical part of the art^ was considered 
by the best writers on the subject^ to consist in completing the 
picture at once in fresco^ without retouching it in secco. The 
practice however of retouching in secco^ was at no period wholly 
discontinued^ except by a few very expert artists^ formed chiefly 
in the school of the Garracci. 

In a work which contains translations from so many authors^ 
repetitions will unavoidably occur ; and, as every author has 
his own mode of expressing his ideas, variations will be found. 
There is however a concurrence, generally, among all the authors, 
which leads to the conclusion, that the practice, by contemporary 
artists, was nearly uniform. 

We must expect that the introduction of the art, will be 
opposed and condemned by many of those who love the arts, 
and to whom we are much indebted for their advancement, but 
who have grown grey in other practice. It were too much to 
expect otherwise. But the young artist may be assured that 
fresco painting will succeed, and be most extensively practised 
in this country. The commencement has been most auspicious. 
The patronage of government has been offered. The assistance 
of parliament has been obtained ; and with such encouragement 
and patronage, ability and genius will not be wanting. No 
opposition can now prevent its success. The die is cast; the 
path will be trodden. The art has been already revived, and 
practised with success, on the continent, especiaUy in Germany. 
It has commenced in this country, and it may be safely pre- 
dicted, that it will hereafter form the principal part of the 
decorations of our public edifices. The great, the wise, and the 
good, with the actions and works, for which they were most 
celebrated, will be appropriately represented in our pubUc 
buildings and palaces, if not in our temples. The illustrious 
dead will be represented as instructive examples to the living, 
and the art, which it is the object of this treatise to promote. 


will^ by these means^ become subservient to the best interests of 
the country. These are my anticipations. I firmly believe 
they will be fully reahzed; and that fresco painting will be 
extensively and successfully practised in this country^ by our 
own native artists^ and will ultimately attain to a perfection, 
equal to that for which the Italian schools were so justly 

With respect to the translations in this volume, I may be 
permitted to notice, that the greater part was made by my sons, 
Charles and Frederick; those from the Italian by the former, 
and those from the Spanish by the latter ; and like most trans- 
lations by very young persons, are almost as literal as the genius 
of the respective languages will allow. I have carefully col- 
lated and corrected them with the original works, without 
however altering their Uteral character, deeming it preferable 
that the ideas of each author should be presented, as nearly as 
possible in his own words. 

Besides the translations already mentioned, I have collected 
and added such notices and extracts, from various other authors, 
as I considered ought be useful, relative to the preparation of 
the walls and roofs, proper for the reception of fresco paintings, 
the preparation and use of the pigments, and the mode adopted, 
for the reparation and amendment of the walls and paintings, 
when injured by time or accident. 

The importance of ascertaining the pigments or colours, used 
by the old masters in fresco painting, induced me to inquire 
into the nature of these colours. In pursuing this inquiry, it 
became necessary to consult the old lexicons, and old and modem 
works on chemistry and mineralogy, in order to ascertain by 
what modem names the minerals, earths, and pigments formerly 
used, are now known. This inquiry was not unattended with 
labour and difficulty. The result is prefixed to the practical 
part of the present volume. 


In my researches^ both in this country and on the continent^ 
I have been greatly assisted by Lord Francis Egertim and Sir 
Robert Peel, and it is with feeUngs of pleasure^ and a lively sense 
of gratitude^ I acknowledge^ that without the assistance and 
facilities afforded me by these distinguished patrons of the fine 
arts^ I should have been unable to pursue my inquiries in those 
foreign libraries and public institutions^ from whence I have 
derived the most useful part of the present publication. 

The notes to which the letters Ed. are affixed^ and all those 
to which no reference is appended^ were added by the author of 
this treatise. 

M. P. M. 

Brighton, 20M December, 1845. 


Page xl, line 6, for "imq/W" nad "lued." 
„ xU, line S6, for '* ChfUa VeaMa" read "OnietoV 
„ xliii, paging, for ***liP* read "«/m." 
„ liii, line 4 firom the bottom, after the word " imUalion** 
add " The use qf black a» a local colour^ upeda^ m 
draperim, it of count excepted." 
, 61, line 11. for **oe" read "90" 
, 61, iMtline, for "Pemtree** read "Peiniree** 
, 03, last line of text, for "remaindeiT* rewi "rematii«f*> 
, (to, last line bat one of notes, for " U" read " EP* 
69, line 1, for "1503" read " iMS" 









Thb selection of proper colours * for painting in fresco is among the 
mpst important parts of the art. All the best authorities on this 
subject are unanimous in the opinion, that natural colours only, are 
proper to be used in fresco painting. Armenino observes, " artificial 
colours never do well m fresco, nor can any art make them last long 
without changing, and particularly in the open air ; the wall will not 
take any other than the natural colours which are found in the ground, 
and which consist of earths of different colours ; and you may leave 
to foolish painters those secrets of theirs which no one envies them > 
of using vermilion and fine lake, because, although they make grounds 
for these colours with various tints of white, it is nevertheless well 
known, that in the long run their pictures become ugly daubs." 

* The authors quoted, almost uniformly use the term *' colour/' and therefore both 
that and the term ** pigment" have been used throughout the work as if con- 
vertable tefms : otherwise, '' pigment" would in most cases have been preferred. 



Vasari uses nearly the same terms. Pacheco observes, " the colours 
must be natural colours," and Palomino says, " they must be all 
mineral," by which he means natural and not artificial colours. 
These and numerous other extracts to the same effect will be found 
in the subsequent part of this work. 

The natural colours are neither numerous nor brilliant, but the 
frescoes of Raphael, Michael Angelo, and others, irresistibly prove, 
that the colours used by them, were amply sufficient for all the pur- 
poses of fresco painting. Some of these colours have for a long 
time fallen into disuse, and the knowledge of their value, application, 
and use, is in a great measure lost. Artificial colours and pigments 
have been improperly substituted, and feuled of their object. The 
consequence has been, that the highest branch of the art of painting, 
and from which the greatest masters have derived most of their 
celebrity, has declined and fedlen into disuse. The object of the 
following treatise is, to restore this knowledge, and with this view 
I have endeavoured, by a diligent examination and perusal of old 
authors, who have treated on these subjects, to investigate and 
ascertain the colours formerly employed in painting in fresco. The 
subject has. extended to greater length than I had anticipated, 
for my object being to re-discover the old and valued colours used 
at the period when fresco painting was in its greatest perfection, it 
was necessary to adduce satisfactory evidence as to what colours or 
pigments were actually used by the great masters of the Italian and 
Spanish schools. The importance of employing proper pigments, on 
which the beauty and durability of the painting so much depends, 
will, I trust, be consideied a sufficient reason for having extended 
my observations and enquiries to a length, which, otherwise, might 
have been considered unnecessary. 

The following passage in the truly valuable Report of the 
Commissioners on the Fine Arts, namely, that "the problems 
yet to be solved are, the speedier preparation of a lime, adapted for 
fresco painting, and the preparation of durable colours of the more 
florid kind, such as lake and crimson," (III. Rep. 53.) prompted me 
to the following investigation, and induced me to consider the sub • 
ject, with a view to ascertain the nature of the pigments used in the 
Italian and Spanish schools, to produce these florid colours. I shall 


first endeavour to ascertain the colours formerly used, to produce the 


lake and crimson colours in the old fresco paintings. 



— ^It appears quite clear, that the old masters used a natural colour, 
whichj^l^hen opposed to the other colours, appeared like lake, and 
that this colour is mentioned in terms of praise by many writers on 
art, who however call it by different names. It also appears that 
this colour was much used by the school of Giotto, but had almost 
entirely ceased to be used in Italy previous to 1584, and in France 
long before the time of De Piles^ who was bom in 1635 and died in 
1709 ; but it was preserved in Spain at least until the publication of 
Palomino's work on painting in 1715-24. 

The earliest Italian writer who mentions this colour is Cennino 
Cennini. In his Treatise on Painting, ch. 42, he says, " there is a 
red colour called amatito. This is a natural colour, and is prepared 
from a very hard and firm stone. It is so hard and firm, that tools are 
made of it to burnish gold on pictures. These become of a dark colour, 
and are as perfect and good as a diamond. The pure stone is of a pur- 
ple or morella colour, and has strise (or fibres) like Cinnabar. Break 
this stone first in a bronze mortar, because if you were to break it on 
a porph3rry slab, you might spht it. And when you have broken it^ 
put what quantity of it you wish to grind on the stone, and grind it 
with clear water ; and the more you grind it the better, and more 
perfect will be the colour. This colour is good for painting on walls 
in fresco, and it makes a colour such as cardinals wear, or a purple 
or lake colour. It cannot be used in any other way or distemper." 
And in chapter 136, he says, " choose a piece of lapis amatista, firm 
and without veins, with its strise or fibres running longitudinally. 
Grind it on a grindstone, and make it very smooth and polished, of 
about the width of two fingers, if you can. Then take some of the 
dRot of cmewilds, and rub the stone, until no inequalities remain* 
Round off all the corners and put it into a handle of wood, with a 
ferule of brass or copper, and let the handle be round and polished, 
so that the palm of the hand may rest well upon it. Then give it a 


lustre in the foUowing maimer. Pat some charcoal powder on a smooth 
porphjoy slab, and rub the stone on it exactly as if you were bur- 
nishing with it, and your stone will become firm, dark, and shining, 
as a diamond. You must be very careful not to break it or to let it 
touch iron ; and when you would burnish gold or silver with it, 
put it first into your bosom, to get rid of any dampness, which 
would soil the gold." 

The next author who mentions the pigment is Borghini ^Biposo 
168-169.) His words are, "Another red colour is made of Lapis 
Amatito, (by some called mineral Cinnabar) ; it is a very hard natural 
stone, which the sword cutlers, and those who gOd leather, use to 
burnish gold ; and because it is very difficult to grind, it is thought a 
good plan first to calcine it, that is, to make it red hot in the fire, and 
then quench it with strong red vinegar, and grind it a little at a time 
on a porphyry slab. This, tempered with clear water, makes a 
beautiful red for painting in fresco ; but, as this stone is not very 
common, and as it is very difficult to reduce to powder, it is not 
much used by painters ; but there is none of it but what makes a 
beautiful colour like lake, for painting in fresco, and it is very durable. 

The next author I shall quote is Baldinucci. (Voc. Dis. Tit. 
Amatita, Lapis Anutiitar MatitaJ, The following are extracts : — 

" Amatita, a soft stone like gesso, with which drawings are made; 
there is some black and some red. See Lapis Amatita and Matita." 
" Lapis Amatita, Matita, otherwise called Mineral Cinnabar, a very 
hard natural stone, used by painters to make designs on leaf gold, 
where it leaves its colour, which is red. This being ground, although 
with great difficulty on account of its hardness, makes a beautiful 
colour, like lake, which serves for painting in fresco, and which is 
very durable. The sword cutlers use it for burnishing gold." Again; 
" Matita, a kind of soft stone used by our artists in drawing. It is 
derived from the Greek word hematite, because it has the colour of 
blood, which they call hama.*' Again," Matita Rossa, a kind of soft 
stone, brought to us in pieces, which are sawn with an iron saw^and 
reduced to a point, which serves to draw upon white and coloured 
paper. The best comes f^om Germany. 

" Matita Nera, a sort of black stone, which comes to us in small 
pieces, and which are reduced to a point by scraping with a knife; it 

is med to dmr on wliite and oolaared pi^er. It is ako di^ in the 
of Fnmoe, and otiier places, bat the best comes finan 

De F!lea» in bis EKmens de Pdntore, ?ypa¥ing of coloinrs used in 
fiesoo, oh a erTC S , — "Rimge vkilei is a natnral eaitb, produced in 
Knglandj and eni^loyed in fireaoo painting imtfrad of lake : and the 
fresher tiie moftv is. on wbidi Ibis pigment is ased» the more 
bfantiM is tiie coloiir. Tbe ancients bad another odioar, wbkb 
was yerj proper far tiiis kind of work and wbidi Terr nearly 
i^proadied liftr, but its composition is unknown to us. Some tiunk 
that it was a kind of minium." 

The Spanisb painter and antfaor, Fadieoo (page 366). speaks of the 
red pigment used instead of lake in fresco, by the name of " Albin/* 
This audiar says, "Hie Ahmgrt ie Leotmie si^plies die plaoe of 
▼ermilion, in flesh and light red drapeiies, and Albin the place of 

. Hie next anthor I shall quote, is the Spanish author Riomino, 
who, in ynA, 2, page 148-149, says, "AlUn and Pabtmaxo ^ are mineral 
colours, and are used in fresco painting, only tempered with water. 
AHm and Pmbomuo do not change, and are colours which supply 
the plaoe of earwume so wdL that, being used on ^ery fresh stucco, 
they have sometimes deceived people, appearing to be e arwum e; and, 
bbscnre» that Pabcmtuo is a d^ree lower in tone than il/ftm, and this 
is not sold in ahQps, bat is procured from the mines of copper in the 
kingdom of Jaen; and there, and in aQ Andalusia, painters and gOders 
esteem it much, and it is even sold under the name .of . Ahnagire." 
Again, " The crimson in fresco painting, is to be AUim and Fabqnuuo** 
II. Palom. page 151. 

The last, and in point of date, one of the eaiiiest of the modem 
writers on the arts, EIraclius,'* whom I shall quote, and whose work 

* There are irtifidal pigments called in Italian Paomutxzo, which cannot be 
naed in. fresco. 

^ De Artibns Bomanomm. Bradios is sapposed to ha^e lived between the 7th 
and 13th centuries, since the latest author he quotes is Isodoms, who lived in 
the 7th century. See Raspe on Oil Painting, p. 45. — The copy of this author's 
work published by Raspe is very imperfect ; that which is preserved in the Bib- 
^ioth^ne Boyale at Paris, contains many additional chapters and much valuable 
information on early methods of painting, and substances used in the Art. 


is still preserved, mentions the substance as affording a red pigment, 
although he does not limit its use to fresco painting. In speaking 
of purpurinus, he says, " And indeed glebae or flints, that is, stonee 
emitting fire, seem very necessary in painting, when they are heated 
in the fire, and are quenched by having very strong vinegar poured 
over them ; and they produce a purple colour." 

And in chapter 266, Eraclius again mentions the same stone in the 
following extract : — ** How a stone and the tooth of an animal is 
polished. Take the stone which is called enumtes, which should not 
be too hard, nor veined, but very smooth and bright, and go to a 
workman's grindstone, and make it as flat as you like. And when 
it seems sufficiently ground, rub it still smoother upon a tile, and 
then, in order to make it finer, with a whetstone. Afterwards polish 
it upon a leaden table." — Extract from a MS. af Eraclius in Bib. 
Royale, Paris, 

It will be observed that there are two kinds of stone noticed in the 
above extracts, the hard and the soft ; I shaU endeavour to prove, 
firstly — ^that the Amatito of Cennino, and the Albin of Palomino^ are 
a variety of the Haematite ; secondly — thiat the Lapis Amatita was, 
and is the stone commonly used to burnish gold; thirdly — ^that Amatito 
is not mineral Cinnabar ; and fourthly — that Pabonazo is the Matita 
Rossa. But it will be necessary, previously, to ascertain the proper- 
ties of these minerals, as described by these authors, and of the Red 
Haematite as described by the writers on mineralogy. 


— ^It appears from the preceding extracts, that Amatito was a natural 
red pigment, prepared from a very hard and firm stone — ^that tools were 
made of it to burnish gold — ^that ittook a good polish — thatithad striae** 
or fibres like Cinnabar — ^that it was so hard as to lequire to be broken 
in a bronze mortar, or calcined before it was ground, lest it should 

■ TigUo and Vena^ the Italian terms for striae, although apparently synonymous 
are not so, since, the Dizionario, of Alberti, does not refer from one to the other and 
since Cennino uses both. Tiglio seems to mean veins or streaks of the same 
substance, as in wood, ivory, &c., and vena has the same meaning, and also signifies 
veins of other substances, included in a mineral, as veins of gold in Lapis Lazuli, 
&c. The term TigUo seems to correspond with the term 9true rather than 
vein. The stone was to be without veins of other materials. 


break the porph3ny slab — that it made a lake or crimson colour*— 
that it could only be used in fresco^ — ^that the colour was so fine as to be 

* Pwyle, The terms PabonazOf PavonazOf Purpura, Porpora, were not used 
formerly to denote the colour we now caU purple, but merely a red inclining to 
blue, namely crimson or lake colour. Pliny, (Nat. Hiit. Book 31, chap. 33, 
Holland's translation,) describing the Syrian purple, says, '* It is thought to have 
a most commendable and excellent dye, when it is as deep a red as blood that is 
cold and settled, blackish at the first sight ; but look between you and the light 
it carrjeth a bright and shining lustre. And hereupon it is that Homer calleth 
blood, purple." Gennino himseif proves that he meant by Amatito, a crimson 
and lake colour and not a purple, as appears from the preceding quotations 
from chap. 42 and 136, and also from a passage in chap. 74, where he says, " If 
yon would nudce a purple colour to be used in fresco, take Indigo, and Amatito, 
and mix," &c. He uses the word " biuo" when he means to express a mixed 
oobur of blue and red. See chap. 74, 78, 79, 145, and the note by Sig. 
Tambroni, who concludes by obserring, " The ancients imitated the parpora (dye 
from the fish called porpore), by mixing /loyTiomso with blue, and the modems, 
to supply the place of porporisso, use lake. See Goethe on Colour, by Eastlake, 
p. 244, 279. Borgh. Bip. 189. 

Albin also was a lake or crimson colour, because Palomino, (vol. 2. p. 150) 
adds smalt to it to make it a morelia colour. See also Pach. 366, II. Palom. 151, 
where he says it is used in fresco instead of Carmine. 

*» It is proper to notice here that Leonardo da Vinci (Trattato della Pittura, 
Chap, ccdiii, Milan edition, by Amoretti,) in describing the method of painting 
on linen doth (tela), observes, " The fiesh colour should be white lead, lake, and 
Naples yellow ; the shade should be black, majorica, and a little lake, or if you 
please &|p«t duro/* Diego Antonio Rejon de Silva, the Spanish translator of 
Leonardo's Treatise, who used the edition of Leonardo's work published in 
France by Du Fresne, calls the colours for the shadows, black and majorica, and 
lake or iSoptt roso. He observes in a note on this passage, " The signifi- 
cation of the word mqforica is not to be found in any dictionary." I shall have 
no difficulty in proving that this mqforica is the soft red haematite, and that it 
derived its name from the Island of Migorca, whence it was brought into Italy. 
I have now transcribed the passage, for the purpose of shewing that the '* lapis 
duro " or ** lapis roxo," which I shall prove to be the htematUe, was used by 
Leonardo da Vinci in painting on linen. But this is no proof that it was an 
eligible pigment, and durable in this kind of painting, because Leonardo was 
fond of making experiments (which there is no doubt the method described in 
this and the preceding chapters were) and because many of Leonardo's colours 
were known to have frided considerably. See De Piles, Lives of the Painters, 
p. 107. 

It is somewhat curious to observe the manner in which the passage has been 
translated in the English edition, by M. Rigaud of the Royal Academy, re-pub- 
lished by Mr. J. W. Brown in 1835, p. 130. ** The shades with black, umber, 


distinguished with difficulty from lake and cannine — ^that it was brittle 
and should not be suffered to touch iron — that its colour was not 
injured by fire, since Borghini, and Eraclius, direct it to be calcined, 
in order to grind it more easily ; nor by acetic acid» since the same 
writers also direct the red hot stone to be quenched in strong red 
vinegar — ^that the reasons for discontinuing its use, were, its scarcity 
in Italy, and the difficulty in grinding it — ^that this colour is men- 
tioned by almost all the above authors as being very durable. 

It also appears, from the preceding extracts, that Albm was. a 
mineral, which suppHed the place of lake, and was used principally 
in fresco* — ^that Matita Rossa was a soft stone, — ^that Pabonazo was 
a degree lower in tone than Albin, was procured from copper mines* 
and was used by painters and gilders, to whom it was known by the 
name of Almagre. 

The following extracts are the characteristics of Haematite given 
by mineralogists. 

Georgius Agricola gives a minute description of the varieties of 
the Haematite. He says, that the Haematite produces the Rubrica, 
(p. 64. of the Venetian edition in Italian) — ^that it is of the colour of 
blood (p. 168), — that being ground on the grindstone it yields a 
red juice, while the Schist (another variety), gives more frequently 

and a little lake, you may if yon please, use hlaek chalk" Thus getting rid of 
the incomprehensible word "migorica/' (the Pons Asinorum of the Spaniard,) and 
the kgpis duros changing the majorica, which is red, into brown; and the lapit 
duro, which is red also, into black. Umber is always rendered in Italian by 
** Terra <f ombra/' and black chalk by Matita Nera, 

The original passage is expressed thus by Leonardo, ** V ombra sarii nera, 
majorica, e un poco di lacca, o vuoi lapis duro.'' 

There is no doubt that P. Lomazzo, the personal friend of L. da Vinci, alludes 
to this practice of da Vinci's in the following extract from the Treatise of the 
former (Book iii, chap, xiv, p. 292), " Per acquerella e per diseg^are in carta, 
per il nero ve V inchiostro, la pietra tedescha, la terra nera, et il carbone di saloe, 
o' del roncagino ; per il rosso, la pietra rossa detto tgifisso la quale era usatissima 
da Leonardo da Vinci.'' 1 have not been able to find in any dictionary or work 
on art a description of a red stone called *' Apissa," but the same word also 
occurs in the "Idea del Tempio della Pittura," (p. 71,) where Lomazzo calls the 
stone used for drawing (which other writers call ** matita ") Carbone Apissa, 

» Pacheoo indeed, p. 390, states that some painters used for draperies in oil 
Almagre de Levante or Albino shading them with carmine and black. 


a yellow yate (p. 175), — that it is found also in iron mines, but 
more frequently in veins alone — ^that the Haematite and the Schist 
differ in appearance, the latter being easily split in a particular 
direction, and its fibres being arranged in such a manner ais to re- 
semble congealed wood — ^that the Haematite and Schist are pro- 
duced in many parts of Germany and also in Spain and other places 
— ^that where the Haematite is found, there is also found the Terra 
Sinopide. He adds, that the^Schist is sometimes dull externally but 
sparkles internally, like artificial Mimum, and that painters call it aha 
CinaMo, and that this kind is found in the Black Forest — that the 
Schist and the Haematite, being hke congealed blood, whenever they 
are burnt, or calcined, imitate the colour of Cinnabar — ^that the Schist has 
the same colour as the Haematite, — ^that the best Haematite is that 
which has the colour of congealed blood, which is diffusible in water, 
which is equally coloured throughout, which is pure, (p. 251, 253). 
By the term Schist he evidently designates the Ltqns AnuUita, and by 
Hcanatite, he means the softer kind mentioned in the next chapter. 

The French Encyclopaedia describes the Haematite as " une pierre, 
ou plut6t une vraie mine de fer dont la figure varie, son tissu est 
tant6t stri^ ou par aiguilles, comme I'antimoine; tant6t il est 
compost de filamens ou de fibres, qui It la couleur pres, la font 
ressembler k du bois, (wood iron^) tant6t elle est sph^rique ou h^mi- 
sph^rique, tant6t eUe est en mamelons, et fonn6e par un assemblage 
de globules qui la font ressembler h une grappe de raisins ; .tant6t elle 
est gamie de pyramides et de pointes; tant6t enfin elle parait 
compos^e de lames ou de feuillets qui laissent quelquefois des inter- 
valles vuides entr 'eux, et la font ressembler k un ravon de miel. 
L'Haematite varie aussi pour la couleur; il y en a de rouge, de 
pourpre, de jaune, et de noiratre ou couleur de feu, mais lorsqu' on 
I'ecrase, elle est toujours d' un rouge ou d'un jaune plus ou moins 
vif. L'Haematite, quoique fort charg^e de fer,*n'est point alterable par 
Taimant, le fer qu'elle donne est aigri et il est difficile de lui procurer 
la ductilite convenable ; il y en a dont le quintal contient jusqu '6 80 
livres de ce metal. Voil& pourquoi quelques gens I'appelent Ferret. — 
Encyc. Franc. Art. Hcematite. 

Pliny enumerates five kinds. — The five sorts differ chiefly in point 
of hardness. The best, according to Dioscorides, is that which is 


mumtt lnra» mttk, wod flmooth, wiliioiit adm* |[riti^ parts of 

Unt eonuDoiihr naedlijr tfae |i>iiitH» m €MlilicNM» beng^imde of 
bole, and oCber drags. The ooramon nlm or tlie Ibsnl 
kind oomei from Botifaniii, &c Tlus —■"■■>*■ wioi» fonna : — 
■ phericd, p]fnBnidal or odfadar, and b c nnip oBdl of aoiaD pyianuda ; 
file apices of wlddi appear in a tnuiTerse seedon in tfae centre. It 
contains a laqf^e portion of iron, but tfae iron is obtained with such 
dWicnIty and is of so bad a qoality, that this ore is not commanly 
amehied. Tliis stone, when exposed to a modentdy strong fire, fiJh 
by degrees into scsks, and in this strte is attracted hj tfae magnet, 
and gives out its iron to adds. The gilders nse it for barmsben to 
pdishthenrmetak. Banachhis has an express treatise, on tfae Ltpit 
ABMtfdev.''— See Chambers' IXctionary. 

The following is Jameson's desci^ition of Red HmmaUU or Fibnmt 
Bed InmeUme. Its odour is usuany intermediBte between brownish 
red and daik steel grey. Some Tsrieties incline to blood red, others 
to dark steel grey, and others to bluish. It ^>ocars most frequently 
masdve and reniform ; also botryoidal, stalaotitiform and globular. 
The external snrfiice is generally rough and glinmiering, seldom 
smooth and shining. Internally it is usually glistening, whidi some- 
times passes into glimmering and the lustre is semi-metallic. The 
fracture is always fibrous, and is straight, ddicate and stettukr or 
sco pifor m. Hie fragments are commonly cuneiform, sddom as in 
the coarse sorts, fibrous or splintery. 

It generally occurs in distinct concretions, whidi are large, small or 
fine, angular, granular and traversed by others which are curved, 
]flmf>]|lftr more rarely, it occurs in cuneiform prismatic concretiims. The 
surfiice of the concretions is either smooth or streaked, and the 
colour indines to iron black, with a shining and metallic lustre. 
The streak is always blood red ; it is hard, passing into semi-hard ; 
it is brittle ; it is rather easily frangible ; it is heavy, inclining to 
uncommcmly heavy. Specific gravity, 4.740, GeUert; 5.005, 
Kirwan ; 4.8983, Brisson ; 4.840, Wiedemann ; 5.025, Ullman. 

Its constituent parts consist of — Oxide of Iron, 90 ; Trace of 
Oxide of Manganese, 0; Silica, 2; Lime, 1; Water, 3;=96. — 
Daubuisaon^ Ann. de Chimie, 1810. 


It occurs in every situation where the compact subspecies id 
found, and like it in veins, beds, and lying masses (liegende stocke), 
that approach in magnitude to mountain-masses ; principally in prim« 
itive mountains, but also in transition, and floetz mountains. The 
difierent subspecies frequently occur together, both in beds and 
and in veins. In veins it is the compact and ochry that pre- 
dominate; the haematite occurs principally in drusy cavities, the 
walls of which are encrusted with the scaly subspecies. 

It occurs in veins that traverse sand-stone, at Cumberhead, 
in Lanarkshire ; in veins in fiioetz green stone, at Salisbury-Craigs, 
near Edinburgh ; at Ulverstone, in Lancashire ; in Cumberland^ 
and also in Devonshire, and near Bristol, in Gloucestershire. It is 
found in considerable quantity in Saxony, from Berggieshubel to 
Voightland ; in Bohemia, but not so abundantly as in Saxony ; at 
Bareuth, Wolfstein, in the Palatinate ; Silesia, Lauterbnrgh, Walk- 
enried, Andreasberg, Wernigerode, in the Hartz ; and Salzburgh ; 
in Siberia, and in Mexico. It affords excellent malleable and cast 
iron ; and, when ground, it is also used for polishing tin, silver, and 
gold vessels, and for colouring iron brown. 

The name Haematite which is derived from the Greek atfia, 
sanguis, was given to this ore of iron, from its red colour. 
With respect to its geographical situation, it is to be observed 
that it occurs in great quantity in the kingdom of Saxony, less abun- 
jdantly in th^ east side of the Hartz and Bohemia ; not so abundantly 
in the Fichtelgebirge, and in considerable quantity in Norway, 
Sweden, Poland, Hungary, and Russia. In England it occurs parti- 
cularly abundant in Lancashire. It is found in considerable quantity 
in Devonshire and Cornwall, and is one of the most common species 
of iron stone. — See Jameson's Mineralogy, tit. Red Haematite. 

The description by Phillips and Ure> and other writers of the " Fi- 
brous Red Iron Ore, Haematite," and ** Compact Red Iron Ore," 
so closely resemble those which I have extracted from Jameson, 
that it would be useless to repeat them. It will be sufficient merely 
to refer to Phillips' Mineralogy, p. 229, 230, third edition, and to 
Ure's Dictionary of Chemistry and Mineralo^, Art. ** Ores," also 
to the Penny Cydopcedia, Art. " Iron." 

, On a careful perusal of these descriptions, it will be seen that 
the Red Haematite resembles in many particulars the pigment 


deBcribed by the various writers on art^ Thus it is stated, that 
Red Haematite resembles the Lapis Amadto in the following 
particulars : — ^The colour, externally, was bluish, or iron grey^ 
sometimes red, or black, (Fhillipa, Jameson, Penny Cyclopaedia; 
Cenn. Bald. Agric.)*— It was hard, smooth, without veins, or gritty 
parts, (Dios. Fhny, Jame. Cenn.). — Its structure was fibrous. (Eooi 
Franc. Plul. Jameson, Penny Cyclopaedia, Agric. Cenn.). — ^Wheti 
calcined it fell into scales. (Pliny, Borg. Erac.). — It was brittler. 
(Ure, Jame. Cenn.) — Gilders used it for burnishers to polish their 
metals. (Jame. Cenn. Bald.) — In this last particular writers on Min>- 
eralogy differ from the writers on Art ; Phillips and Ure say the 
powder is used to burnish metals ; Jameson does not particularize, 
but merely observes, of the fi.ed Haematite, that " it is used iof 
polishing tin silver and gold vessels, and for colouring iron-brown,'^ 
while the writers on art assert, that the solid stone, when shaped 
into a tool and polished, was used to burnish metals. It was 
fibrous like cinnabar, which it resembled in colour, and by which 
name it was also known. — (Cenn. Agric. Bald. Borg.) 

With respect to the Albin of Palomino, the description 
is more indefinite than that of Amatito. In the index of 
the Terms of Art, added by another writer to the first volume of 
Palomino's Museo Pictorico, (third edition, 1795,) the following 
explanation is given of Albin ; '* a dark crimson colour which is 
brought in stones (Piedras) from the mines of copper ; it serves in- 
stead of carmme for painting in fresco." In Gattel's Spanish and 
French Dictionary, Albin is thus explained, *' Sanguine; pierre de 
couleur rouge. L&t. Lapis Sangtanarius. Couleur rouge faite avee ta 
sanguine, Lat. Color ex lapide sanguinario** In Pineda's Spanish 
Dictiouary, Albin is translated Bloodstone, '"-^ 

It may be proper to mention, that there is a mineral called Albin, 
mentioned in Phillips' Mineralogy, p. iii, of an opaque white coloiil'i 
from which indeed it derives its name. It>has none of the propertied 
of the Albin of Palomino. ^ 


BURNISH GOLD. — I shall uow eudeavour to prove that the Lapis Ama^ 
tita, the Red Haematite, was and still is used to burnish metals. It 

IN FRESCO fainting: XXlll 

18 unnecessary to repeat the extracts already given from Cennino, 
Borghini, and Baldinucci. These authors have proved that the Lapis 
AnMtita was used as a burnishing tool ; I shall now prove that the 
Hamatite was formerly, and is at the present time, used for this pur- 
pose, and thus establish their identity. 

Eiraclius calls the stone used in polishing ** Emantes" Theophilus, 
in his Treatise on various Arts, chap, xxxi, says, " polies illud dente 
vel lapide sanguinario diligenter limato et polito super tabulam cor- 
neam sequalem ac lucidam," — translated, — "You must polish it with 
a tooth, or with a bloodstone, lapide sanguinario, carefully filed and 
polished upon a smooth and shining horn table." The author of the 
additional chapters appended by Raspe to the first book of Theophi- 
lus, directs that gold should be burnished with *' emote," and in cap. 
XXXV. says, " Deinde limpidissima petra vel onychino aut emote vel 
simili re convenit scripturam detergere, quod sic et soliditatem acdpit 
et fulgorem vel colorem," i. e — " It is then proper to clean the writing 
with a very transparent stone, or with an onyx, or with emote, or 
with some such thing, and thus it receives both solidity and brilliancy 
or colour." M. Le Comte Charles de L' Escalopier adds by way of 
note to the first of these passages, "scribendum videtur hie et 
e. 35 ematite," — " I think it should be written ematite both here and 
at cap. 35." He also adds in another note on the word emote 
^ Nous ne doutons pas qu' il s'agisse de la sanguine, kqfis sanguinO' 
rius, qu* il ne faille lire ematite.** Haematite, (Theoph. p. 290). 
Benven^o Cellini (Opere, vol. iii. p. 14,) polished gold " pigliando 
un amotita nera (dark) che son quelle che adoperano gli spadai metter 
d' oro." This passage immediately recalls the beforementioned ex- 
pressions of Borghini and Baldinucci. M. de Brongniart (Traits 
^es Arts C^ramiques, &c., p. 646,) informs us that in the manufac- 
tory of porcelain at Sevres, gold is still burnished with the " hematite 
dure," which the workmen call " sanguine" And in the Magazine 
of Science, vol. i. p. 206, it is said, *' Bloodstone ^ is a very hard 

* There is another mineral called Bloodstone, namely the heliotrope or quartz, 
jaspe-sanguin of Haiiy. *' It is mostly of a deep green colour, and commonly 
yellow or blood-red spots are interspersed through its substance. From the lat- 
ter circumstance it has obtained the name of Bloodstone.** — Phillips' Min., p. 15. 
By this colour it is sufficiently distinguished from the Haematite. 


compact variety of heematite iron ore» which, when reduced to a suit-* 
able form, fixed into a handle, and well polished, forms the best 
description of burnisher for producing a high lustre on gilt coat 
buttons, which is performed in the turning-lathe by the Birmingham 
manufacturers. The gold on china ware is burnished by its means. 
Burnishers are likewise formed of agate and flint, the former sub- 
stance is preferred by bookbinders and the latter for gilding on wood, 
as picture frames, &c." 

Vasari (Intr. chap, zxxii.) likewise mentions the stone by the name 
of " Matita dura,'* which when ground, was to be used with the 
Matita rossa, and another colour prepared from " scaglia di ferro," 
for painting the shades of flesh on glass. 

This certainly does not agree with the assertion of Cennino« that 
Amatita could not be used in any kind of painting but fresco ; but as 
he does not treat of painting on glass, this does not invalidate his 
testimony, because this art was not practbed to any extent in Italy, 
until the time of GiuHo 2. who sent for William of Marseilles to 
paint windows for him at Rome, (see Seroux d' Agincourt, Histoire 
de Y Art par ses Monumens, Peinture, vol. 2, p. 143. Le Vieil, De 
la peinture sur verre, p. 18. Vasari, vol. 5, p. 187). Cennino there- 
fore could not have been acquainted with this description of painting* 

Thirdly, that Amatito is not Mineral Cinnabar. — ^I have 
now to prove that Amatito is not mineral cinnabar as asserted by 
Borghini, and as De Piles supposed. 

We have already observed, that Geo. Agricola says, that the stone 
which he calls Schist (after Pliny), resembled in its appearance 
mmitmi, and that the painters called it cMfioftar; that when calcined 
it imitated the colour of cinnabar. 

Baldinucd, who had seen Cennino's Treatise, probably derived 
much of Ids information from that work, and much from common 
tradition, since, although he was an excellent draftsman, he did not 
paint. (See Lettere sulla Pittura, vol. 2, p. 392. n.) We have also his 
distinct assertion, as before quoted, that the true derivation of 
kg^ amatito was lapis Juanatitos, meaning stone of a blood-colour. 

Raphael Borghini, though descended from painters on the mother's 
side, and intimately connected with the painters and sculptors of his 


time, was not a painter himself; he was not» therefore, Ukely to he 
acquainted with the practical details of painting. In the second 
book of the Riposo, he has borrowed largely from Cennino. In 
many cases he has given a literal version of Cennino's text, and in 
others quite a paraphrase, although without having the honesty to 
acknowledge whence he derived his information; indeed it is remark* 
kable» as Sig. Tambroni observes in the preface to Cennino's Trea- 
tise, that Borghini does not once mention Cennino's name although 
it is evident, he had read great part of his work. Cennino does 
not assert that Amatito was mineral cinnabar, his expression is 
merely, '' ka tm tiglio came dnabro" 

In the note to chap. 42. of my translation of Cennino's Treatise 
on Painting, I have expressed an opinion, that Amatito was mineral 
cinnabar, but having since investigated the subject, I am convinced 
that I was mistaken. 

At first sight, the resemblance between the two minerals is suffi- 
ciently striking to warrant the conclusion. The colours of both 
varied between dark grey and red, both are fibrous, and yield a red 
powder when pulverized ; but, there the resemblance ceases ; Mine- 
ral Cinnabar is soffc,* Amatito is hard : see the descriptions of native 
or Mineral Cinnabar in Ure, Phillips, and Jameson. Moreover, 
Amatito can only be used in fresco, Cinnabar is incompatible with lime. 

The best proofs, independently of the direct assertion of Geo. 
Agricola, before noticed, are, however, to be derived from the works 
of writers on painting. 

Borghini (Riposo p. 167) says, that Cinnabar was first procured 
from the quicksilver mines of Spain. He afterwards gives a recipe 
for making artificial Cinnabar. He adds that both kinds were used 
for painting in ot/. 

Paolo Lomazzo, in his treatise on painting (Lib. 3, Chap. 4) 
mentions two kinds of Cinnabar, namely, the mineral or native, and 
the artificial. In the same chapter he enumerates among the arti- 
ficial pigments, Cinnabar, except the native Cinnabar (il cinabro 

* Pliny indeed speaks of a kind of native Cinnabar brought froni Spain, but 
he adds, that " it was hard and full of sand/' and that also brought from Colchis 
was hard " and not better than that of Spain ;*' and he evidently disapproved of 
both kinds. — Book xxxiii, p. 325. 



eccetto quello di miniera). In chapter 6, he informs us, that the 
artificial Cinnabar was inimical to hme, ('^ nemico della cake). The 
only red named by this author, proper to be used in fresco, is 
Majorica. By this we find, that Amatito was no longer in use. 
The treatise of Lomazzo was published in 1584, the same year as the 
Riposo of Borghini. 

Palomino, after naming certain colours to be used in fresco, adds, 
" and vermilion, although the native or mineral, is better than the 
artificial vermilion." But he says that in uncovered places, and in 
such as are exposed to the inclemency of the weather, neither the 
native nor artificial should be used, because in a few days they both 
lose their beauty and turn to a dull mulberry colour. But in covered 
situations, and those defended from the weather, it is a beautiful 
colour and very permanent. But in order to make it more perma- 
nent, it should not be laid immediately upon the stucco, which should 
be previously dead coloured with tierra roxa, and the vermilion 
should be laid over this, making it lighter with white, and darkening- 
it with albin and pabonazo, and in some of the deepest shadows add- 
ing sombra del viefo or tierra negra, and it will remain so fresh and 
beautiful, that even with oil colours it could not look better." — 
2 Palomino, p. 149. 

This shews that vermilion and albin were different substances, since 
the vermilion was to be shaded with albin. 

The author of the Vocabulary of Terms of Art, added to the work 
of Palomino before mentioned, names both the native and arti- 
ficial vermilion. The native or mineral vermilion, he says, is of a 
red colour, procured from quicksilver mines.^ It will perhaps be 
recollected that he had informed us that albin was procured from 
copper mines. The former, he says, was good for painting, (using 
the term generally,) — the latter, for painting in fresco. It id quite 
evident that he did not consider the terms synonymous. 

Alberti (Dizionario Enciclopedico), following Baldinucci, (Tit. 
Cinabro Minerale,) says " mineral cinnabar is called by some lapisi 
amatita." He adds, of the true native or mineral cinnabar, it is a 

• Palomino, (vol. 2, p. 340.) also informs us, that native Cinnabar was 
procured from quicksilver mines. 


mineralized ore of mercury, fibrous or smooth, of a red colour and 

Vitruvius also remarks that minium (cinnabar) would not stand 
30 days in places exposed to the hght and weather, (Vitruvius Liv. 
8. Chap. 9.), and was always covered with wax and oil. In this he 
has done little more than repeat the words of Pliny (Book 33). 

It is unnecessary to quote all the writers on painting who have 
said that cinnabar is inimical to lime, or to revert to the method 
adopted by Fozzo to render it permanent in fresco, since he does 
not mention, whether he used the native or artificial. I cannot dis- 
cover that any writer on painting, except Fozzo, recommends using 
cinnabar on the wet lime in fresco. 

From the foregoing extracts and observations, I trust I have 
estabhshed the fact, that painters formerly possessed a natural red 
pigment for painting in fresco ; and that this pigment was not mine- 
ral cmnabar. 


and that the names of Sinopia, Majorica, Terra Rossa d'Inghilterra, 
Bruno d'Inghilterra, Ferretta di Spagna, and Almagra, hereafter 
mentioned, are only different names for the same mineral colour, 
which I think will be found fully established in the subsequent part 
of this work treating of Sinopia. 

I shall now show that Amatito and Albin were not the ** vetfi- 
uolo cotto o abbrucciato" of the Italian writers. 

Amatito and Albin were, as I have shown, natural pigments, 
which required merely to be pulverized to constitute a fine pigment 
for fresco painting. Vetriuolo cotto or abbrucciato is, on the con- 
trary, an artificial pigment, prepared by calcining sulphate of iron, 
by which process it acquires its red colour.* 

It was unknown to or at least not mentioned by Cennino, but is 
mentioned by Lomazzo and Borghini whose works were published in 
1584, and by succeeding writers. It is called vitriol calcin4 by De 
Piles, (El^mens de Peinture, Jombert's Edition), vitriolo Romano 

* The sulphuric acid is expelled by heat, and a per-oxide of iron remains in 
the vessels. It has been before observed that the Haematite contains in addition 
to the iron, silica, &c., traces of manganese and lime. 



quemado by Fdomino ; viiriolo oa k mado, in the Spanuh voeabnlaiy 
of terms of art before mentioned, and burnt Roman vUriol by the 

It is said by Pozzo to be a beautifdl coloiir like lake for freaoa, bui 
it is obvious, that if a natural pigment can be procured, the oolour of 
which is equally fine, it must be preferable for painting in fresco. 

The Aroatito of Cennino was not the amethyst. The lightness 
and want of body of the colour of the latter, and the fact of that 
colour being violet and not lake, sufficiently prove that the two 
substances are not synonymous. 

It is mentioned in the first Report of the Commissioners on the 
Fine Arts p. 28, that Prof. Hess uses oxides of iron for red pigments 
in fresco. It would be desirable to ascertain the exact species. 

In conclusion, I would observe, that the red Haematite contains 
nothing in its composition incompatible with lime and with the pig- 
ments used in fresco painting ; that lime is a constituent part of it ; 
that the ore is found in several parts of England, and in great abun- 
dance at Ulverstone, in Lancashire, where it occurs in an enormously 
thick vein, traversing limestone (see Phillips). That the difficulty of 
grinding can be no objection to its use, since pigments are now ground 
in a mill purposely constructed, and that it is most important to the 
practice of fresco painting, to acquire a permanent pigment of a lake 
colour ; that Amatito is not a new pigment now attempted to be 
introduced for the first time, but one which has been tried and 
approved. It may also be observed, that the colours produced from 
iron are always permanent, the natural more so than the artificial, 
and that such pigments are of universal application in painting. 

I stated the characteristics of Amatito to Mr. Tremayne, of Heligan 
in Cornwall, and to his kindness, I am indebted for a copious supply 
of two species of red Haematite, from a mine in the parish of Roche 
in Cornwall, the hard and the soft ; and I caused a specimen of the 
hard Haematite to be pulverized, aud having washed some of the 
powder, and poured off the Hghter particles, I found a portion of 
iron had sunk to the bottom, the removal of which seemed to render 
the colour finer. I also calcined another portion of the stone, and 
found it separated into scales, in the manner described. The colour 
of the stone when calcined, varies from lake to violet, according 


to the kngUi of time it is exposed to the fire; and this agrees 
with the statement of Dr. Lewis, inserted in the Encyc. Brit. Art. 

The fibrous red Haematite of Ulyerstone, has a finer grain than the 


Besides the Amatito and Albin before mentioned, writers on art 
mention other natural red pigments proper to be used in fresco, 
namely, Rubrica, Sinopia, Cinabrese, Majorica, Terra Rossa d'lnghil- 
terra, Terra Bruna d* Inghilterra, Rouge Violet, Ferretta di Spagna, 
Almagre, Pabonazo, Tierra Roxa, and Burnt Ochre, are all spoken of 
by different authors as red colours, or used instead of red colours, 
and are all ores of iron; and, excepting the last two, are merely 
different names for the same pigment, differing merely in quality, 
mtensity of colour, or mode of preparation. That this pigment is in 
fact the Haematite or red ochre of the mineralogbts. — See Phillips, 
Jameson, Tit. Red iron ore — Haematite. 

Sinopia is mentioned or referred to as a red colour by most of the 
several writers on colours and pigments. It is described by Pliny as 
a natural pigment, which derived its name from Sinopia a city of 
Pontus, it was also brought from Eg3rpt; the Balearic Islands, 
(Majorca, Minorca, &c.) and Africa ; but the best was brought 
from the Isle of Lemnos and Cappadocia, where it was found in cer- 
tain caves and holes. That which adhered to the rocks was the best, 
and the pieces of which on being broken, shewed the same colour 
throughout. There were three sorts differing in colour. The first 
deep red, the second paler, and the third browner. The Lemnian 

* His "words are as follow : — ** The oxides of iron may be made to appear pur- 
plish, or inclimng to the scarlet, according to the manner in which the calcina- 
tion is performed. If the matter is perfectly deprived of its phlogiston, and 
sabjected to an intense fire, it always turns out red ; bat the mixture of a small 
quantity of inflammable matter, gives it a purplish cast.'' 

It is remarkable that the oxides of iron never shew their proper colour till 
they are cold. 


earth, called also Terra Sigillata, was considered next in value to 
Minium (vermilion), and none was allowed to be sold without having 
been previously marked with the seal of Diana (a goat, the Turkish 
seal was afterwards substituted for this), for which reason it was 
also called ** Sphragis." The painters ordinarily laid a ground of 
this under vermilion, and sophisticated it in many ways. — See Pliny, 
Book XXXV. 

Dioscorides says, this red ochre of Sinopia is very fine : it is heavy, 
dense, and of the colour of liver without any mixture of stone ; it is 
equally coloured throughout, and if put into water diffuses itself equally. 

Geo. Agricola says, that the earth which the Greeks call Milto, 
because it is red. is caUed Rubrica. This is found in mines of gold, 
silver, copper, and iron, as Theophrastus writes ; and it is often 
found in veins by itself. He adds, that the best kind is brought 
from Sinopia, and next to that is the earth of Lemnos, where, among 
the three '^ species of earth which (as it is said) were found in a heap, 
(tumuletto) was the rubrica fabrile.^ He mentions, that in addition 
to the places named by Pliny and Dioscorides, it is also found in 
Germany, and according to Strabo, in Spain, and that this last kind 
was in no degree inferior to Sinopia. That there were three kinds 
of Rubrica, the first soft, which stained the hands ; the second less 
soft, which stained less ; the third was hard, and was called stone 
(sasso), which did not stain the hands unless they were' wet. This 
last, I consider to be the Lapis Amatita, the fibrous red Haematite, the 
Glebae of Eraclius, the Albin of the Spaniards. He adds, that all 
three kinds were used by painters. (Book ii. p. 202.) The pale 
coloured Rubrica is probably Armenian Bole. 

Cennino says, " there is a natural red pigment called Sinopia or 
porphyry, that this colour is naturally transparent and drying. It 
bears grinding well, and the more it is ground the better it is. It is 
good for painting either on pictures or walls in fresco or in secco." 
Cenn. Chap. 38. 


* One species of earth appears to have been the Rubrica, another Bole, the 
third white, the last two were Argillaceous. 

'' Rubrica fabrUe, This proves the pigment to have been an ore of iron, since 
the texmfabbrile or fabrile is applied to working in iron — which is called VArte 


Sinopia is mentioned by Borghini (Riposo p. 166), incidentally, 
when speaking of cinabrese. He describes it nearly in the words of 
Cennino, who mentions it as a red colour called light cinabrese, and 
composed of two parts of Sinopia and one of Bianco Sangiovanni, (a 
white made of very white and pure lime.) These two pigments 
were therefore prepared from the same mineral. 

Requeno, a learned Spaniard resident at Rome, in his work written 
in Italian, entitled Saggio Storico sul Ristabilimento dell* Antica Arte 
de* Greci e Romani Pittori, (vol. i. p. 258.) commenting on tlie 
colours used by the ancients, observes respecting Rubrica, that " this 
was our mineral red earth. Vitruvius cites that of the Island of 
Majorca in Spain among the finest sorts, and I have always thought 
that the ancient Rubrica might be the fine Spanish Almagre." 

The only red pigment mentioned by Paul Lomazzo (Trattato della 
Fittura, p. 191, 192.) as proper to be used in fresco was terra rossa 
detta Majorica.^ The descriptions of Phny, Theophrastus, and Geo. 
Agricola, prove that Sinopia was brought fiom Majorca, one of the 
Balearic Islands. 

The terms Rosso d* Inghilterra, Bruno d' Inghilierra, and Rouge 
Violet appear synonymous, or nearly so. Pozzo says that this colour 
(always supposing them synonymous), when used on very wet lime, 
appears like lake when dry. Maivasia (Felsina Pittrice, vol. i. p. 349) 
says, that Bruno d' Inghilterra was much used then, i. e. in the 
latter part of the seventeenth century, in fresco, instead of lake. 

Pacheco (Tratado de la Pintura, p. 366) directs Almagre de 
Levante to be used instead of Vermihon for flesh tints and light 
draperies in fresco. In p. 350 he says, that this colour is admirable 
in all kinds of painting. It will be observed this author calls the 
pigment " Almagre de Levante," an additional reason for supposing 
it to be Sinopia. 

Palomino (vol 2, p. 149) enumerates among the mineral colours 
used in fresco painting, Albin and Pabonazu, which he says do not 
change, and supply the place of carmine so well, that when used on 

* The beautiful vases of Majolica, of \irhich Cennino speaks, (c. 107.) were 
probably so called from their having been formed, or at least, principally coloured 
with this mineral. — See ** Traite des Arts Ceramiques par. M. de Brongniart." 
Vol. II. Page 55-59. 


very wet stucco, they have often deceived people, appearing to be 
carmine. He adds that Pabonazo is one degree lower in tone than 
Albin, and that it is not sold in shops, but is brought from the 
copper mines in the kingdom of Jaen, and there, and in all 
Andalusia, it is much valued by painters and gilders, and is even 
sold under the name of Almagre. This passage identifies Pabonazo 
with Almagre. 

I think it will appear, from the preceding extracts, that the 
pigments called Majorica, or Majolica and Almagre, are of the same 
nature as Sinopia. But it is probable the latter was the finer colour ; 
since Pacheco always distinguished it by the name of Almagre de 
Levante, thus shewing the similarity of its nature, and a preference 
for the oriental pigment, although, as before mentioned, Strabo 
says, that the kind produced in Spain was not inferior to the true 
Sinopia. Palomino has distinctly informed us that Pabonazo was 
also called by the Arabic name Almagre. It is probable that 
Sinopia was superseded by Terra Rossa d' Inghilterra in Italy, since 
P. Lomazzo does not mention Sinopia, and by Pabonazo or Almagre 
in Spain. Georgius Agricola, speaking of the colour called Arme- 
nian blue, observes, that it had been very scarce since the Turks 
had been masters of the country. The same influence may also 
have prevented the introduction of Sinopia into Europe in sufficient 
quantities for the use of painters, and occasioned them to have 
recourse to the productions of other countries for their pigments. 

The French translator of Pliny mentions that a kind of Bol d' 
Espagne, called vermilion, was sold about 1725. Benvenuto 
Cellini mentions (Opere. vol. iii. p. 145.). among ingredients used 
to give a colour to gold, " Ferretta di Sps^a ;" now Fenretta di 
Spagna, or Ferretta simply, is a kind of Haematite which is a true 
ore of iron (see Alberti Diz. Enc.) There is also an artificial kind 
described by Neri, (Art. Vit.) made by calcining copper with sul- 
phur. I merely mention this fact to shew that the two were not 
synonymous. The appellation Ferret was appHed by the French to 
the Haematite. 

The soft species from Cornwall, which appears to be formed from 
the decomposition of the harder species, and which I have examined, 
is heavy, dense, of the colour of liver, without any strong or gritty 


particles, equally cdoured throughout, a^d when put into water, 
diffuses itself equally, but afterwards settles at the bottom of the 
vessel. It will be observed that the several kinds of Haematite are 
found generally together ; on referring to the description of Albin 
and Pabonazo, we shall find that both pigments are classed together 
by Palomino as well as by Pacheco. 

Hie purple tmge, observable in the colour of the Haematite, is to 
be attributed to the presence of a small portion of manganese, which 
is wanting in the-ochres. The colour of the pigment, when washed 
and ground, is scarcely to be distinguished from Indian red. 

The soft red Haematite is the mineral from which the Matita 
Rossa ia prepared. This is proved by the following passage from 
Baldinucci's life of Cennini, (Opere vol. 4, p. 485). — " Among 
other things that I observed cursorily, Cennini, mentioning that 
stone with which we draw, and which we call * Matita,' gives 
it the name of Lapia Amatito, agreeably to its true origin Lapis 
HtematUos, meaning stone of a blood colour." The red chalk crayons, 
as they are called, now in use in England, are prepared by grinding 
Haematite to an impalpable powder in a porphyry mort-ar, and 
making the powder into pastiles with gum or isinglass (Mag. Science, 
vol. i. p. 349). 

The Tierra Roaa of Palomino must have been different from the 
Pabonazo, since that author says its tint is deepened by time (en 
fortaleeerse), whereas the Pabonazo did not change, (Pabonazo y 
Albin no haoen mudanza). It has been observed by many writers 
on colours, that ochres, whether raw or burnt, have a tendency to 
darken in time. 

The red ore of iron, commonly called red chalk* or ruddle, is of a 
brick red» or brownish red colour, massive, and with an earthy 
fracture, is dull, soft, meagre to the touch, stains the fingers, writes 
easily, and adheres to the tongue. It is found in day slate, in sand* 
stone and in lime-stone. Phill. Min. Tit. Red Iron Ore, — Sub Tit. 
Red Chalk. 

Sinopia is often confounded with Armenian Bole ; so it is trans- 
lated by Dr. Holland the translator of Pliny. Greo. Agricola. who 
appears to have studied mineralogy so deeply, remarks that the 
colour of his Aimenian Bole is " pallido," whereas he says that of 




Sinopia is of the colour of liver, and when prepared is a pigment 

Cennino also appears to have well understood the difference 
between these minerals. He used the Sinopia in painting, but 
Armenian Bole in gilding. 

Sinopia and Fabonazo, as we have observed, are ores of iron, but 
Bole is classed by Phillips (Min. p. 53.) among the clays ; in the 
Treatise on Mineralogy, in the Encyc. Britann. it is placed in the 
Magnesian Genus. It is described as follows : — 

Magnesian Genus, 2. Species Bole. Id. Kirw. I. 190. Le Bol, 
Broch. I. 459. Argile Ochreuse. Haiiy. 445. — Exter. Char. Found 
massive and disseminated; surface dull, sometimes a little gUm- 
mering ; fracture conchoidal, fragment sharp edged, colour yellowish 
brown or reddish, with spots and dentritical figures of black; 
opaque, rarely translucent at the edges ; very soft ; easily frangible ; 
adheres to the tongue; feels greasy; streak shining; sp. grav. 
1.4 to 2. 

Chem. Char. Before the blow-pipe it becomes black or gray, 
and melts into a greenish gray slag. Falls to pieces in water with a 
crackling noise, and without forming a paste. Its constituent parts 
are stated by Bergman to consist of — Sihca 47, Alumina 19, Mag- 
nesia 6.2, Lime 5.4, Oxide of Iron 5.4, Water 17=100. 

The chief places which yield Bole, are the Islands of Lemnos, — 
hence called Lemnian earth — Sienna in Italy, and Strigan in Sdesia, 
in which latter place it is deposited on indurated clay ; in Upper 
Lusatia, it forms nests in Basalt. Bole and similar earths were 
formerly employed in medicine ; they are now only used in the prepa- 
ration of colours. — ^Encyc. Brit. Tit. Mineralogy. 

I consider that it may be collected from the above extracts, that 
Sinopia is that species of Red Iron Ore called red ochre by PhilHps 
and other mineralogists. This mineral will require the same prepara- 
tion as a pigment as other earths ; namely, careful washing and 


Palomino was right when he said that blue pigments were the Scylla 
of fresco painting. He had doubtless seen many instances of their 


want of durability and of their discordance with the other colours of 
the picture. 

The remarks of Mr. Wilson and Mr. Hart, in the II. Report of the 
Commissioners on the Fine Arts, are a commentary on this passage. 
'* The blue of the skies has either partially changed or entirely faded, 
whilst that of the drapery is comparatively well preserved. In the 
School of Athens he (Raphael) has painted the bhies in fresco, and they 
have perished or nearly so, as they have, in most instances, in every 
part of Italy, where blue has been thus used ; both in pictures of this 
and previous times. In the great works which Raphael subsequently 
painted in the Stanze, he returned to the old practice of painting the 
blues above red, probably dissatisfied with the crudeness which was the 
result of using them on the wet plaster. The blue that has thus been 
generally used seems to have been of a vegetable nature, as in many 
instances it has changed to a brilliant green. It may be urged that 
the use of ultramarine or cobalt, may obviate all necessity for such 
preparations, and secure the pictures against change ; but whilst the 
former is by far too expensive a colour, the latter is crude and harsh 
in fresco. It seems to have been the blue which was used by the 
Carracci, and in their pictures, as in those of Guidp, it will be found 
to be frequently out of harmony with the other colours ; either these 
have in some degree faded, the blue remaining the same, or the blue has 
increased in intensity. Domenichino used distemper extensively in his 
works; but in those of Guercino will be found a triumphant solution of 
the difficulty ; his blues are put in in fresco, and yet are in fine harmony 
with the other tones ; they have generally a warm purple hue, and 
may be either smalt, or cobalt tempered with red, such as colcothar 
of vitriol. This is strongly exemplified in the Zampieri Palace at 
Bologna, where the harmony apparent in a fresco of Guercino is an 
agreeable relief, after the crudity which offends in those of his mas- 
ters in other rooms of the same palace : a comparison between the 
Aurora of Guido in the Rospigliosi at Rome (all the blues of which 
are not retouched), and that by Guercino in the Ludovisi, further 
corroborates the above observations," — ^Rep. 27. Again, Mr. Wilson 
observes, " The blue has come off entirely in some parts, and has 
evidently been laid on when the figures were finished, and the lime 
too dry, so that not being incorporated, it has come off in powder ; in 


other parts where the artist has evidently been obliged to use it first, 
it is perfectly preserved." Again, " The blues have been scraped off 
for the value of the ultramarine." " The skies and water have &ded to 
the usual blackish or slate colour." "The nitre has almost entirely 
eaten up all the greens and blues." "The blue backgrounds, on 
which the figures are relieved, are either turned black or purple, or 
have disappeared." See II. Rep. pp. 36, 37, 42. 43, 44. 

The " vivid blue," in the church of St. Sigismond, at Cremona„ 
and the blues in the pictures of Guercino, and the school of Carracci 
generally are almost the only exceptions to the general decay of the 
blue pigments in fresco. The colour is however more durable when 
appHed in distemper. 

It will be proper, in the first place, to enquire what blue pigments 
have been used, in painting on walls, by artists, and then to ascertain 
whether they can be employed with propriety in fresco. 

The blue pigments mentioned by writers on art to have been used 
in painting on walls, are as follows : — 


Coeruleum or Vestorian Azure. . Pliny, Vitruvius. 

Azzurro di Smalto Borghini. 

_ , . f Pozzo, Orsini trans, of Vitruvius, 

Smaltmo < ^ „. • 

I Galham, same. 

Esmalte Pacheco, Palomino. 

Smalto Lomazzo, Armenino. 

f Cennino, 
Azzurro della Magna . . . . < Borghini, Benozzo Gozzoli, 

L Books of the Duomo of Pisa. 

. ^, r Lomazzo, Borghini, Vasari, 

Azzurro Oltramanno .. ..s^ . „ ^ ^ 

LCenmno, Pozzo, Palommo. 

Azzurro di vena naturale . . Malvasio, Borghini, Baldinucd. 

Azul fino, 1 « , 

> Palommo. 
Azul di san Dommgo . • . . J 

The preparation of the artificial pigment called Coeruleum, Vesto- 
rian Azure, and Vestorianum, is described by Vitruvius in the follow-* 
ing terms : 

" The composition of blue (Azzurro) was first discovered at Alex- 
andria, and subsequently Vestorius established a factory of it at 


Pateoli. The manner of making it, and the ingredients of which it 
is composed, are rather remarkable. Sand is ground up so fine with 
flour of nitre, as ahnost to resemble wheat flour, andbdbg mixed with 
copper filings, made with a coarse file like a rasp, the whole is 
sprinkled with water, that it may adhere together. It is then made 
into balls, by working it with the hands, and these balls are laid 
aside to dry. When dry, they are put into an earthen jar and the 
jar is put into the fire. And then, when the copper and the sand 
have united, boiling together by the vehemence of the fire, giving 
and receiving vapours from each other, they lose their own proper- 
ties, and being united altogether by the force of the fire, they be- 
come of a blue colour. 

" Similarly, on account of the scarcity of the colour Indigo, they 
make an imitation of that colour by mixing Selinusian or Anularian 
chalk, with the glass, which the Greeks call voXov fhyalon)" 

Sir Humphrey Davy observes,* " That this colour can be 
easily and cheaply made. I find that fifteen parts by weight of 
carbonate of soda, twenty parts of powdered opaque flint, and three 
parts of copper filings, strongly heated together for two hours, gave 
a substance of exactly the same tint, and nearly the same degree of 
fusibility, and which, when powdered, produced a fine deep blue." 
The ingredients meant by Sir H. Davy, are nearly the same as 
thosQ meiitioned by Vitruvius, except that the latter mentions nitre, 
instead of carbonate of 8oda« and sand instead of flint, the diflerence 
in the latter, being merely nominal, since pure sand consists of silica 
fditK>st in the state of powder, and flint also consists of silica in a con- 
solidated form. Volumes have been written to ascertain what the 
pitre of the ancients really was, but the inquiry is unnecessary here. 
It is. sufiicient for our purpose to shew that the Vestorian Azure was 
a blue glass, I think I shall be able to prove that the blue pigment 
used in Italy and Spain during the latter half of the 16th 
century, and the whole of the 17th and 1 8th centuries, was of the 
same nature as this Vestorian Azure. 

Bald. Orsini, the Translator of Vitruvius (Ed. of 1802), speak- 
ing of the Vestorianum, says^' " this glass is synon3rmous with what 

' On the Colours used- by the Ancients.^Phil. Tran^. 1815. See also Chap- 
tal's " La Chimie appliqu^e aux Arts.'' 


the Italians call Smaltino, which was and still is used in fresco paint- 
ing in Italy." Orsini also remarks, (note to p. 96), "It is suffici- 
ently clear that the Cceruleum of Vitruvius, is the same as Smaltino 
which is used in fresco painting, distempering it with milk, or with 
ox gall ; that being mixed it may spread better because it is com- 
posed of a fine coloured glass. It roust be spread with a brush over 
the intonaco before it hardens, and under it should be a coat of terre 
verte,^ which serves for a ground (lettoj for it. But Vitruvius says 
nothing respecting the manner of using it." 

The Marchese Galliani also, (trans, of Vitruy., edition of Naples), 
observes, in a note on this blue pigment of Vitruvius, •* Blue in this 
passage does not mean the fine blue which is also called ultramarine, 
and which is made from Lapis Lazuli, ground to powder, but the 
other common sort of blue, which we call Smaltino." Again, he 
says in another note on the " glass" mentioned by Vitruvius, " The 
blue colour made in this manner, is nearly the same as what is now 
used in fresco under the name of Smaltino. 

Borghini remarks, (page 173), "There are many blue pigments, 
such as Azzurro di Smalto, which is made of glass, and is used in 
fresco." He afterwards mentions Azzurro della Magna, thus proving 
that these pigments were not synouymous. 

The only blue pigment mentioned by Armenino is Smalto; Lomazzo 
mentions Smalto, which he always distinguishes from the other 
azzurri amongst which he classes Ultramarine, 

The Spanish painter Pacheco says, " Esmdlte is the blue pigment 
best adapted for fresco painting, because it is glass,*' &c. Palomino 
expresses himself nearly in the same terms with respect to this pig- 
ment ; his words are, " The blue is the rock of this kind of painting ; 
but fortune has not given us our choice in this matter, obliging us to 
use Esmalte, which is in substance ground glass" 

Pozzo mentions Smaltino as the blue pigment to be used in fresco. 
The directions for preparing various colours added to the Abecedario 
Pittorico (Naples, 1731), shew that Smaltino was prepared by mixing 

*■ Mr. Wilson was informed by some Italian artists (See I. Rep. p. 27,) that a 
coat of Terra verte was laid at times as a preparation for blue, but I was told by 
Mr. Wilson himself that he had never found an instance of teiTa verte having 
been laid under blue. 


Zaffre with a salt instead of copper, and then of calcining the mixture. 

It is impossible to decide whether the colouring material of the 
blue glass generally used in Italy was copper or Zaffre. The latter 
which is a mixture of cobalt with glass, now known by the name of 
Smalt, * was in use in Italy, where it was brought from Germany, 
before anything was known in the former country of its nature. 
Georgius Agricola, who was a German, does not mention it in his 
work, De Metallicis, published 1549. Neri (Arte Vitraia, p. 317-369, 
Florence, 1 61.2), says its nature was unknown. It is probable that about 
this period smaltino made from Zafire superseded that of which 
copper was the base, Lomazzo (Book iii, chap. 4) enumerating the 
pigments used in painting, says " Gli smalti, come quelle di Fiandra 
che h il migliore di gl' altri tutti/* — " The smalti, such as that of 
Flanders, which is better than all the others." From this passage we 
may infer that more than one sort of smalto was in use in Italy, and 
that one of these was of the same nature as the Vestorian Azure. 

This vitrified pigment, then, which is known by the various desig- 
nations of Smalto, Azzurro di Smalto, Smaltino and EsmaUe was used 
on the wet lime, and, according to the before-mentioned writers, the 
wetter the lime was when the colour was applied, the better. I shall 
now remind the readers of the general state of the blue colours in 
the Italian fresco paintings as described by Mr. Wilson and Mr. 
Hart, and then state my opinion that this pigment is the one that 
was generally employed in Italy and Spain for above two hundred 
years, and that it is quite unfit for the purpose, as is proved by the 
present state of the frescoes. I have not been able to discover when 
this colour was first introduced into modern painting, but I consider 
it probable that its introduction took place when the work of Vitru- 
vius first began to be studied and translated in Italy .^ It is to be 

■ The meaning of the word *' Smalto " varies according to its use. It may 
mean enamel, mortar, cement, basis, ground, pavement, or floor ; no conjecture 
therefore respecting its nature can be formed from its name. 

^ The first edition of Vitruvins, without a date, appears to have been pub- 
lished about 1486. Two others were published in 1496 and 1497. (D'Agin- 
court, Architecture, p. 90, n.) The first Italian translation of Vitruvius by 
Cesariano was published in 1521, the second by Durantino in 1524, the third by 
Caporale in 1535, and the fourth by Barbaro in 1556. Perhaps this pigment 
was introduced during the life of Elaphael, since Mr. Wilson mentions that he 


obserred that YitroviiiB does not distiiigniBh between such colonn as 
were to be i^lied on the wet lime, and sach as were tobe naedin teeeo 
(except in the case of lamp black, which he says was to be tempered 
with glue for painting on walls) ; but Fliny says decidedly (Book 
xzzt). of the Coernleam, " Umis im ereta; ealeu mpaiims*' — " It 
u nsefbl on chalk, but is incompatible with lime." He also indndes 
this cokmr among those which cannot be nsed on a damp wall. The 
marginal note is as follows : — " Qm eoloret wdo iBim rea u mi i ," — 
" Which coloois cannot be laid on in fresco." The text says, " Ex 
ommbus eohribus crehdam amant, mdoqme mUai rtemsmU, Pmjmrissmm, 
Indiatm, CeoTilemm, 8fc,** — " Out of all the oqIoots, Parpurissum, In- 
dicom, Coendeom, &c. prefer chalk, and cannot be laid on in fresco." 

It is qnite clear, therefore, that the Romans did not nse it in fresco 
and the nature of the pigment proves it to have been unfit for this 
kind of painting. It was an artificial pigment, and it contained 
potash or soda, either of which would be a sufficient reason for refus- 
ing it a place among pigments to be used on lime. 

It has been observed by Mr. Wilson and Mr. Hart, that ''the 
blues and greens were eaten up with nitre." Palomino also states 
that Luca Giordano retouched with the egg tempera those parts in 
which the nitre had appeared. Mr. Smith in his able paper on the 
Causes of and Means of Prevention of Saltpetre on the Surfru^ of 
Walls> (II. Rep. p. 53-55.) observes that " salts wiU always make 
then- way to the surfeu^," and that " lime, mortar, or some other sort 
of calcareous earth, seems to act as a vivifying principle to set the 
molecules of salt and water in action." M. Durosiez also is of 
opinion that the presence of all alkalies in the substance of pictures 
is injurious, (III. Rep. 49). This then will be sufficient to account 
for the presence of nitre on the blue pigments in fresco paintings, 
where that pigment has been smaltino, and whether the colouring 
ingredient in that vitrified pigment be copper filings, or zafire. 

There is no doubt that it was the practice of the Greek or Byzan- 
tine school, and that of Giotto, and of the Italians generally, until 

had painted the bines in fresco in the School of Athens, and that they had 
turned green, for we know that he, Michael Angelo, and other artists of that 
period were in the habit of laying on the bine in distemper. — (See Merimee de 
la Peinture ^ VhoOe, p. 173.) 


after the death of Raphael, to add the hlue pigments, in distemper, 
over a ground of black and red, or black only, or red only, or black 
and white. 

Theophilus, who professes to teach all the Greeks knew respecting 
coloVirs, in Chap. xv. of Book 1st of his Treatise on divers arts 
directs, that " on walls a coat of Veneda, that is, black mixed with 
lime, is to be laid as a ground ; and upon this colour, when dry, 
must be laid, in the proper place, a thin coat of Ultramarine tem- 
pered with yolk of egg, mixed with plenty of water ; and after this 
a thicker coat, to make it look well." Cennino also directs both 
Ultramarine and Azzurro de la magna to be tempered with egg, or 
glue. See Chap. 60, 72, 74, 83. 

The blue commonly used by the early Florentine painters was 
called " Azzurro della Magna," because it was brought from 
Germany, and sometimes "Azzurro" only. The colour used by Titian 
and the Venetians, was called by the latter name, and was brought 
to Venice from the Elast, as will be hereafter mentioned. I shall 
first giye some early historical notices respecting these pigments, and 
shall then endeavour to ascertain their nature. 

The following notice is extracted from the books of expenses in- 
curred in the construction of the Duomo of Pisa. 

" Anno 1392, de lib. M. Mag. Rerus, Pictor, de urbe veteri, 
habuit et recepit a d. operaris, pro una libra Azurri de la Magna, pro 
ystoria Ginesis de Campo Sancto, quod azurrum emptum fuit," &c. — 
" In the year 1392, book M. Messer Piero, artist, of Civita Vecchia, 
had and received fron the Master of the Works, for one pound of 
Azzurro della magna, for the historical picture from Genesis, in the 
Campo Santo, which azure was bought, &c." 

The following extracts from letters written by Benozzo Grozzoli to 
Pietro de Medici, and preserved in the archives of the family of the 
Medici, throw much light on the manner of painting on walls at this 
period. He is speaking of the picture of the Three Magi, in the 
chapel of the Medici.* 

" I should have come to speak to you, but I have begun this 

* In the palace now called the Palazzo Riccardi at Florence. The chapel is 
now 80 built up that it can only be viewed by torch-light. 


morning to put on the blue (Azzurro) and I cannot leave it. The heat 
is great and the glue spoils directly. I think by next week I shall 
have completed this piece (Pontata), I think you would like to see 
it before I take down the scaffolding." Dated Florence, 10th July, 
1459. Again, •* I remind you to send to Venice for the blue 
(Azzurro) because by this day week, this side (Facciatd) will be com- 
pleted and I want the blue for the other." 11th Sept. 1459. " I 
had from the Jesuits two ounces of blue (AzzurroJ of that kind which 
is three great florins per ounce." 25th Sept. 1459. 

Dr. Gaye, the editor of the " Carteggio inedito d 'artisti dei secoli 
XIV. XV. XVI," (from which these extiacts are taken). Vol I. p. 193, 
observes, " the price of three great florins the ounce for Azzurro 
della Magna is much greater than has hitherto been considered the 
average price in the fifteenth century." 

From these extracts we learn the important fact, that the blue was 
applied in secco when the picture was nearly completed, and that it 
was mixed with glue. 

Giovanni Liombani in a letter to Francesco Gonzaga, Marchese di 
Mantova, dated 22nd February, 1491, requests the Marchese " to 
cause a letter to be written to the respectable Zorzo Broguolo at 
Venice, ordering him to supply me with as much gold, silver, azurro, 
and other colours as shall amount to the sum of 200 ducats." The 
artist, as appears from the same letter, was then going to paint in the 
palace in Marmirolo, of which no vestiges now remain. — See the 
same work. Vol. i. p. 306. 

It was the custom for the person who ordered the picture to sup- 
ply the blue pigments as well as the gold. Even Titian observed 
this practice. He writes thus to the Doge of Venice, ** Nor do T 
wish any other payment in advance than colours to the value of 10 
ducats and 3oz. of that Azzurro, if there be any, in the Offitio del 
Sal," &c. By a decree dated the 28th January, 1515, the Council 
order, among other particulars, " that Titian shall have only colours 
to the amount of 10 ducats and 3oz. of Azzurro." 

Modern writers have supposed that Azzurro della Magna was 
cobalt blue ; but I apprehend without sufficient reason. The princi- 
pal reason seems to be, that both pigments were produced in Ger- 
many. Georgius Agricola does not appear to have been aware that 


cobalt could be used as a pigment ; he describes (p. 466) three kinds, 
differing principally in colour ; the first was black, the second grey, 
and the third the colour of iron. He says that cobalt corrodes and 
consumes the hands and feet of those who work it, if they are not 
careful to defend themselves from it. Matthioli, (Comm. on Diosc. 
p. 1395) observes, that "Kobolt is a corrosive substance, that fre- 
quently ulcerates the hands and feet of those who dig it, nor is this 
to be wondered at, since it kills like deadly poison." He adds, that 
in Bohemia it is used to kill flies, but he says nothing of its being 
used as a pigment. The art of purifying and preparing cobalt as a 
pigment, is of comparatively modem invention, at least in Europe, 
and it is extremely probable, indeed almost certain, that it was used 
in the form of Zaffi-e as a pigment, long before the art of preparing 
a pigment of a pure blue colour from it was known ; Zafire not being 
a pure blue, but inclining to red. It appears also, that the process 
described by Cennino (chap. 60) for preparing Azzurro della Magna 
for use, is not applicable to the mineral cobalt, which requires 
chemical preparation before it can be used as a pigment ; for we 
have seen that the natural colours of this mineral are black, grey, 
and the colour of iron, and not blue. The simple process of grinding 
and washing it with water, would not be sufficient to develope the 
blue colour of cobalt ; if it were, it is quite clear, the long and trou- 
blesome processes, now in use for purifying this mineral, are unne- 
cessary; besides, if cobalt required chemical preparation, it could 
scarcely be included with propriety in Cennino's list of natural 
pigments. (See Ceim. chap. 60, and for the modem method of 
purifying cobalt, see Ure's Diet, of Chemistry and Mineralogy, 
Chaptal's Chimie appliqu6e aux Arts, M. de Brongniart's Traits 
des Arts C6ramiques, Merim^e, De la peinture k Thuile, Marcucci 
Saggio Analitico del Colori, &c.) 

The ancients possessed some native blue and green pigihents, to 
which they gave the names of Chrysocola, Lapis Armenus, Cceruleum, 
and Cyaneum, (see Pliny, Lib. xxxv. Chap. 6). The first is green, 
the second greenish-blue or blue, the third and fourth blue. Geo. 
Agricola, Matthioli, and Laguna, mention pigments of the same 
name. All agree in the general description, but vary in their account 
of the colour. They also agree in stating that they were found in 



copper and silver mines, and sometimes in gold mines, frequently 
close together, and even adhering to the same piece of ore, and that 
they were a certain criterion of the presence of copper. The fact is, 
that they were all native carhonates of copper, changing their name 
according to the prevalence of the hlue, or green, or greenish-hlue 
colour. The first (Chrysocola) will again he noticed. The Armenian 
Stone is hy most writers descrihed to he of a greenish hlue colour, 
and this corresponds, as I shall prove, with the Azul Verde of Palo- 
mino, and the Verde Azzurro of the Italians. The Ccerulea is the 
native blue carbonate of copper, of which there are two species, the 
earthy and the indurated ; the last was frequei^tly mistaken for the 
Lapis Lazuli, from which ultramarine is prepared. 

I shall give, concisely, Agricola's description of the pigment he 
calls Coeruleo. He says, (p. 219, 221) there were two kinds known in 
his time, the native and the artificial; that the native was often 
attached to the same ores as Chrysocola, namely, copper ores ; that 
it was found not only in copper mines, but in those of silver and 
gold, and that it always shewed the presence of copper ; that it was 
brought from Spain, Germany, Noricum, Dacia, Rhaetia, &c., but 
was scarce because the factitious was more in use. He adds 
(p. 452), " now this is the Coeruleo which the vulgar call azzurro, 
which, together with the Chrysocola, is attached to the ore," (or 
matrix). He says also, that it resembled a hard sand, and is scraped 
ofiFthe ore like sand. And see also Matthioli (p. 1412), who agrees 
in the general description. The mineral here described is clearly 
the earthy blue carbonate of copper, of which the following descrip- 
tion is given in the Encyc. Brit. Art. Mineralogy. 

SuBSPBCiBS L Earthy Azure Copper Ore. — Easter, Char. 
Rarely found massive, usually disseminated or superficial ; composed 
of fine particles, which are dull and somewhat coherent ; fracture 

Colour, smalt blue, sometimes sky blue ; opaque ; stains a little ; 
soft or friable. 

The earthy variety is found in superficial layers on a slaty marl in 
Hessia, and it is also found superficial on sandstone in Thuringia. 
Sometimes the whole of the sandstone is impregnated with this 
earthy carbonate of copper, there called copper sand earth or copper 


sand stone. A similar sand stone, at Gourock near Greenock, in 
Scotland, was, a few years ago, dug out for the purpose of extracting 
copper. — (£nc. Brit. Art. Mineralogy.) 

The resemblance between this species, and the mineral described 
by Agricola, is obvious. The indurated species is rare. Azure cop- 
per ore is found in veins of primitive and secondary mountains, 
chiefly with the green carbonate of copper and red oxide of copper, 
in Chili, Bohemia, the Hartz, Saxony, the Uralian moimtains, and in 
Thuringia, at Chessy in France, &c. 

In Cornwall, sparingly in Huel Muttrell and Huel Gorland, Huel 
Unity, Huel Virgin and Carbarack. In the Buckingham mine, near 
Bridgewater, Somersetshire. At Alderley Edge, in Cheshire, in 
sandstone with yellow copper and barytes. In Durham, at Wassing- 
hope lead mine near Stanhope, in small nodules imbedded in sulphate 
of barytes. In Scotland, at Wanlock Head, and the lead hills in 
Lanarkshire. (Phillips' Mineralogy; p. 310). Phillips classes this 
mineral under the head ** Native Metal and Metalliferous Minerals." 

Modem writers on the composition of colours, call this pigment 
Bleu de Montague — Mountain Blue — ^Blue ochre of copper. — 
Lomazzo mentions the colour under the name Ongaro.* 

With regard to the last appellation, Ongaro, Pacheco (p. 373) 
relates a circumstance not generally known. "Philip, Count of 
Flanders, ordered Michael Coxis of Malines to make a copy for him, 
of the celebrated picture by Van Eyck at Ghent ; he copied it ex- 
tremely well, and because they could not procure any azure so fine 
as that used in the original, they sent to Titian, who was at Venice, 
for some of a natural azure, which is found in Hungary, which was 
formerly very easy to procure, before the Turks were masters of that 
province, and the blue for the drapery of the figure cost thirty 
ducats." Perhaps this was some of the same kind of azure that 
Utian desired the Doge to send him (if there were any). This 
anecdote shews, that the blue carbonate of copper was used in oil 
by Titian, and probably by Van Eyck, since no other blue could 
be found in Flanders which matched that in the picture. 

* Because it was brought from Kerhausen in Hungary. Marcucci (p. 70) enu- 
merates it among the green pigments, a circumstance which identifies it with the 
Lapis Armenus which was sometin\es bhie and sometimes green. 


Much confasion has been occasioned by some authors describing 
the Lapis Armenus as a blue stone, while others say it is green. 
The ieuct is, that it consists of one of those ores of copper united vdth 
other substances, and that it is sometimes blue, sometimes green, 
and sometimes of a greenish blue. See Fliny, Book xxxv. c. 6. 
G. Agricola, De Metallicis, 219, 221, 452. Constant de Massoul's 
Treatise on Painting, and the Composition of Colours, 152, and 
Bulengerius de Pictura, Sculptura, et Plastice, Lib. ii. c. iii. Le Vieil 
(De la Peinture sur Verre, p. 108, n.) says, it is a stone of a lighter 
colour, not so heavy and more friable than ultramarine ; it is found 
in France, Germany, and especially in the Tyrol. G. Agricola 
(p. 452) mentions, that ** he saw some Armenio in one shop only in 
Venice, and that the possessor valued it much." The scarcity of 
the pigment is sufficiently accounted for, by the provinces which 
produced it being in the hands of the Turks. The Venetians, how- 
ever, seem to have maintained an intercourse with them, since 
Gentile Bellini was sent to practise his art, at the court of Mahomet 
the Second, at Constantinople. As merchandize is generally im- 
ported in considerable quantities, the Armenio seen by Agricola at 
Venice, in one shop, might have been the remains of the old stock 
imported while the Turks and Venetians had still commercial rela- 
tions. It is not the blue pigments only which became scarce on 
account of the wars, the Sinopia also fell into disuse about the same 
period, as Agricola declares, and from the same cause. Another 
reason also for the scarcity of the carbonates of copper was, as we 
have before observed, the use of the artificial pigments prepared in 
imitation of the natural pigments ; many recipes for which are to be 
found in every work on colours. 

Matthioli (p. 1412) observes, "Armenian stone is of a bluish 
colour, although not a pure blue, nor is it so hard as the stone called 
" Azulo," because the Armenian stone is of a sandy nature, and the 
painters sometimes use it instead of Azzurro." He says also that 
the same mineral was found in Germany as well as in Armenia, and 
he adds that the Armenian stone which the painters use, being taken 
in the quantity of the twelfth part of a drachm, was useful in 
removing melancholy. It was also given to children for disorders 
of the breast, &c. This is sufficient proof that the Armenian Stone 


was not Cobalt, the poisonous nature of which was well known to 
Matthioli. In another place (p. 1415, line 58) he gives the name of 
Verde Azzurro to the Armenian Stone, which sufficiently identifies 
these minerals. Laguna, the Spanish commentator on Diosco- 
rides, is still more precise, he says, " This kind of stone resembles 
much in its colour Chrysocola, and that is considered the best which 
is green with a mixture of blue. From whence I am persuaded that 
the common stone which is found in so many mines, of which the 
perfect colour Verde Azul is made, is a species of the Armenian 
Stone." — ^p. 539. See, also. Dr. Holland's Translation of Pliny, p. 
531, where he calls this pigment Verd' Azzur. 

Matthioli observes (p. 1413) that the Arabs confuse the Pietra 
Cerulea, by which he means Lapis Lazuli, with the Armenian Stone; 
indeed the resemblance between all these minerals is so great, that 
they can scarcely be distinguished by inspection. I have a specimen 
of ore which one mineralogist pronounced to be the Blue Carbonate 
of Copper, while another to whom it was shewn called it Lapis 
Lazuli. The only apparent difference between the indurated Blue 
Carbonate of Copper and Lapis LazuH appears to be the presence or 
absence of the spots or veins of gold which are always found in the 
finest coloured specimens. The Lapis Lazuli may be distinguished 
from the Carbonate of Copper by subjecting it to the action of fire. 
The former will be unchanged, but the latter turns black. — See 
Massoul, pp. 166, 176. Let us hear what Matthioli, speaking of the 
stone to be used as a medicine, says of the Pietra Cerulea, " It is 
true that that stone which sparkles with gold should be used ; be- 
cause the others with which the apothecaries, and those who prepare 
Azzum in Germany are always pro^4ded, are not nearly so benefi- 
cial." He also says, " he has seen great quantities of Armenio and 
Ceruleo in silver mines, in a great many places in Germany, but he 
never found any which was veined with gold." Cennino (chap. 60) 
mentions Azzurro della Magna in nearly the same terms. Matthioli 
continues,. '' That which is called Ultramarine, and which is made of 
the true Lapis Lazuli from gold mines, is in great esteem, because it 
surpasses in goodness and in colour all the Azzurri in the world." 
The Ceruleo was probably the indurated blue carbonate of copper, 
which much resembles the Lapis Lazuli, — See Massoul*s Art of 


Painting, p. 176. Lagona adds that Matthioli was satisfied that the 
stone called Armenio, was of the same nature as the Cerolea or 
Cyano (Lapis Lazuli), hat that the former was not perfectly formed 
in the mineral veins ; " and in truth we must believe implicitly aS he 
tells us, for he was a most acute and accurate investigatcH' of the 
nature of all minerals." We may add that the true Lapis LazuH is 
not produced in Europe but is brought from Asia, especially from 
Persia, where it must have been once in great abundance, since we 
learn from the book of Elsther, c. i. v. 6, that the pavement of the 
palace of Ahasuerus consisted " of red, and bhie, and white, and 
black marble." For the description of Lapis Lazuli, see Phillips, 
Jameson, Ure, Encyc. Brit. Art. Mineralogy, Tit. Lazulite. 

I trust I have now proved satisfactorily that the pigments called 
Azzurro, Azzurro della Magna, Ongaro, and Verde Azzurro were 
native blue carbonates of copper, and that the latter was the Arme- 
nian Stone of Pliny, of Agricola, and of Matthioli. I shall now 
endeavour to prove that they were also called " Azzurri di Spagna,'' 
and " Azzurri di Vena Naturale." 

Malvasia mentions (Pels. Pitt. vol. ii. p. 349) that he discovered 
in the studio of Cesare Baglione, many years after his decease, " a 
chest fall of brushes and colours, that is, earths of all sorts, particu- 
larly of verde di miniera, the most precious which the ancients pos- 
sessed, the good and genuine sort of which is now lost. Also some 
fine Verdetto, and some Azzurri di Spagna, so bright and fine that 
even Sirani was deceived by them, and at first mistook them for 
ultramarine." The reference to this passage in the index is as fol- 
lows : — " Azzurri e verdetti di Spagna cosi belli anticamente per i 
frescanti oggi perdutisi, n^ piil in uso," — " Spanish blues and greens, 
anciently so fine for fresco painters, now lost and no longer in use." 
Malvasia says " now lost" we must first endeavour to ascertain when 
they were lost ; Sirani, he adds, was deceived by them ; now Sirani 
died in 1670. 

These colours were lost, therefore, previous to 1670, and probably 
some time previous, as Sirani did not appear to know them. Cesare 
Baglione died in 1590, having the colours in his possession; they 
were therefore in use in 1590, and must have been lost at some 
period between 1590 and 1670. 


Guercino painted in Bologna in 1618, in the Zampieri Palace in 
16dl» in the Ludovisi at Rome in 1621, (See Malv. vol. ii. p. 363, 
d65» 368). Mr. Wilson observes, that the blues in his pictures, at 
these places, are put in in fresco, and are yet in fine harmony with 
the other tones. Is it not possible he may have used the Azzurri di 

If, then, this Azzurro di Spagna is so good a colour, it may be 
asked, why do not the Spanish writers mention it ? Palomino, it is 
true, does not mention the colour, but he does mention, a blue 
stone called "Ignoto" (unknown), which was sometimes used with 
other .blues in fresco, and which is very likely to have been the pig- 
ment in question. To account for Palomino's being unacquainted 
with so valuable a pigment, a production of his native country, we 
must remember that the Spaniards received the art of fresco painting 
from the Italians, and adopted their method, and that Palomino died 
in 1726, fifty-six years at least after we have ascertained the pig- 
ment to have been lost. Pacheco's Treatise was published in 1641 ; 
he also does not mention the colour ; it was therefore unknown or 
disused in his time in Spain and Rome, for he resided some time at 

Borghini mentions (Riposo, p. 173, published 1585), that " Azzurro 
di Vena Naturale was useful in all three kinds of painting." Baldi- 
nucci observes of the same pigment, that '* it was used in painting in 
fresco, in oil, and in distemper." These extracts prove that the 
pigment had been used in Italy in fresco painting, although it is not 
mentioned by many writers on this subject. 

I have proved from Agricola that the mineral which the vulgar 
call "Azzurro" was produced in Spain in copper and silver mines, 
and I have shewn that the mineral could not be cobalt, because in 
its natural state that mineral is not blue. We know the pigment 
mentioned by Malvasia was not Ultramarine, because that substance 
is not found in Spain, and because he says the Azzurri di Spagna 
were lost, whereas Ultramarine was then in use in Italy. We can, 
therefore, form no other conclusion but that these pigments are 
native blue carbonates of copper, and of the same nature as Azzurro 
della Magna, Ceruleo, Mountain Blue, Ongaro, &c. 

With regard to the use of Ultramarine in fresco, it appears that 


this was one of the expensive colours, which were always supplied by 
the owner of the picture. Pacheco says that in his time it was not 
used in Spain because it was so scarce and dear ; but we find from 
Laguna's Commentary on Dioscorides (p. 538) that it had been used 
in Spain, prior to 1570, and that its colour was thought so fine that 
it was used to paint the royal chapels. Palomino, however, gives 
another reason why it was not used in fresco, namely, " that the lime 
so acts upon it, that it fades, and after a short time the lights cannot 
be distinguished from the darks." He directs that for interiors, the 
Ultramarine is to be laid on in secco, with goat's milk. I have 
found repeated instances mentioned of the use of Ultramarine im 
secco on fresco paintings, but not one of its use in Imon^iresco, 
Palomino mentions yet another pigment used an secco on walls, 
namely, Azul fino, or Azul de Santo Domingo, which appears to have 
been an artificial pigment made from copper, probably synonymous 
with the Azurri di Biadetti of Borghini, and the modem " oendres 
bleues." But it is unnecessary to describe artificial pigments in this 

French Ultiamarine has also been tried in fresco, but I understand 
from high authority is not approved. Indigo was used occasionally 
in fresco by Gennino and Palomino, the latter, however, observes, 
" this colour should never be laid on the lime itself, as it always 
perishes ." Pozzo says, it could be used in fresco during the summer, 
but not in winter, because it is a bad drier. 

To conclude, it is well ascertained that the brothers Campi of 
Cremona, Bernardino Gatti (II Sogaro), and Guercino (I. Rep. pp. 
27, 40) possessed a blue pigment, which has proved permanent in 
fresco painting. It appears also that a blue pigment was used in 
Italy which was lost sometime between 1590 and 1670, and that from 
the date of Guercino's paintings, it is very probable that he used it> 
that this pigment was called Azzurro de Vena Naturale, which there 
is strong reason for supposing to be native blue carbonate of copper. 

With regard to this mineral itself it is a natural production said to 
consist of carbonate of copper, alumina, and lime,*^ and is, I believe, 
produced in sufficient quantities for use as a pigment in fresco. 

'^ According to Pelletier it is composed of oxide of copper 50 parts, carbonic 
acid 30, oxygen 10, lime 7, water 3, = 100. 


It would be desirable to ascertain, by analysis of the blue colours 
on pictures, what blue pigments have been used in fresco in Italy, in 
order to select for fiiture use such as have been found durable, and 
to avoid such as have perished. 

The method of preparing the carbonates of copper for use as pig-, 
ments, is by the simple process mentioned by Cennino, (chap. 60), 
namely, grinding and washing it, in order to separate the small 
stones that are sometimes mixed with it. — See Massoul's Treatise on 
Painting and the Composition of Colours, p. 176. Marcucci Saggio 
Analitico, &c., p. 70. 


The employment of green colours in fresco is attended with less 
difficulty than the blue. This arises from several causes, not alto- 
gether depending on the pigment used. I allude in the first place 
to the mixture of blue pigments with yellow ochres, and to the ten- 
dency of blues to become green. 

The green pigments used in fresco are terra verde (the nature of 
which is too well known to require any description) Verde Montana, 
Mountain Green, Lapis Armenua, the Chrysocolla of the ancients, a 
native green pigment supposed to be a mixture of oxide of copper, 
or, as some say, carbonate of copper with alumina and lime. This 
mineral is of an emerald green or verdigris green colour, and some- 
times a sky blue. — See Phillips' Min.p. 309, 313. — Encyc. Brit. p. 
228, 289.— G. Agricola de Metal, p. 219, 221. 

Andres de Laguna (Translation of Dioscorides, Salamanca, 
1570), observes, the use of the mineral or native chrysocolla was 
very common centuries ago, for painting the apartments of the 
superb palaces of princes, on account of its beautiful green colour, 
which is so agreeable to the eyes. The greenest, and the pleasantest 
to the sight is that which is found in the mines of copper. 

Another species of copper ore, called Earthy ferruginous green copper 
ore, which is of a light olive green colour, seems to have been used 


in Spain under the name Verdacho, which Pacheco 8a3r8 agreed better 
with the lime than Verde Montana. 

A third species of copper ore, the Malachite, is also used in paint- 
ing. — See Merim^e, De la Peinture & Thuile p. 187. De Massoul sur 
I'art de la Peinture, p. 151, 152. 

Verde Granillo is the best sort of Verde Montima, it was brought 
from Venice to Spain in pastilles. — Italian writers call Verde Mon- 
tana, Verdetto and Verde de Miniera. This pigment must not how* 
ever be confounded with the verdete of the Spaniards which is 

Palomino says that Verde Montana should not be used alone on 
the lime, but that it should be mixed with terra verde, when its 
colour will be beautiful and durable. 

Marcucci directs (p. 71), that the mineral should be ground and 
made up into small cones. This was the process adopted in Venice, 
where the pigment was called " Verde GianiUo." 

Pozzo includes a vegetable green pigment in the list of colours for 
painting in fresco. The adoption of this colour cannot be re^^ 

Mr. Hart observes (II. Rep. p. 43), that the greens in certain 
frescoes are well preserved ; in the Ducal Palace of Mantua, however, 
he says that they are almost entirely eaten up with nitre. 

Now imitations of the native green and blue carbonates of copper 
have been in use from the earliest times as we learn from Pliny, also 
from Theophilus and other writers of the middle ages, as well as 
from G. Agricola and Matthioli, and the more recent Italian and 
Spanish authors. The use therefore of these pigments in fresco, would 
be sufficient to account for the appearance of nitre upon the green and 
blue parts of such paintings. We know from Malvasia's Felsina 
Pittrice that these native green pigments were lost in Italy previous 
to 1670. 

Lomazzo observes (Trattato p. 194.) that Perino del Vaga in- 
vented a colour formed of Verdetto, and bianco secco, that is, lime- 
white in powder, which he (Lomazzo) remarks had a beautiful effect 
in fresco, and produced a colour almost resembling Giallorino. Of 
coarse, as Lomazzo spoke of a contemporary, he could give no 
opinion as to the durability of the pigment. 




Black colours are among those that have been found least durable 
in fresco. — See II. Rep. p. 42. All writers are unanimous in saying, 
that none but natural pigments should be used in fresco ; therefore 
carbonaceous blacks, prepared from animal and vegetable substances, 
should be excluded from this kind of painting. 

Native black colours are fortunately abundant. The Terra Nera 
de Venezia, of which Pozzo speaks, is said by Palomino to be a most 
beautiful colour in every respect. There is also Terra Nera di Rotna, 
Terra Nera di Piedemonte, the mineral called black chalk (schiste k 
dessiner, ampelite graphique), which is met with in France, Spain, 
Italy, Iceland, Wales, Ireland, and the Hebrides, and which is 
used both in drawing and pamtmg. 

Nero di schiuma di ferro, mentioned by Borghmi, is an artificial 
pigment, prepared by mixing the scales from red hot iron with terra 
verde, and then grinding the mixture to a very fine powder, {Baldu 
nucci, Voc. Dis. Borghim), Neither this nor the next can be 

Nero di Terra di Can^nme, mentioned by Armenino, id prepared 
from a sort of crust which forms on the moulds in which bells and 
cannons are cast. It was used in freseo painting, but Baldinucoi 
says, that when exposed to the air, in a short time the colour flies, 
and spoils the picture. 

These black earths are especially useful in making true greys ; the 
extreme darks, every one knows, should be formed of browns, and 
not of blacks. It is well observed, by the author of an article in the 
Quarterly Review for December, 1844, entitled "Painting in the 
14th Century," that ** pure black should never be admitted on walls 
or canvass, for the simple reason that it hardly exists in any depart- 
ment of nature which can come within the sphere of imitation." 


Thb only white pigment that it is necessary to mention here is 
Bianco Sangiovanni ; the others are aU fully described by the several 


authors whose works are translated, and form part of this treatise. 
Cennino Cennini has left the following directions for preparing Bianco 
Sangiovanni : — 

** Take very white slaked lime ; pulverise it, and put it into a little 
tub for the space of eight days, changing the water every day, and 
mixing the lime and water well together in order to extract from it 
all unctuous properties. Then make it into small cakes, put them 
upon the roof of the house in the sun, and the older these cakes are, 
the whiter they become. If you wish to hasten the process, and 
have the white very good, when the cakes are dry, grind them on 
your slab with water, and then make them again into cakes, and dry 
them as before. Do this twice, and you will see how perfectly white 
they will become. This white must be ground thoroughly with 
water. It is good for working in fresco, that is, on walls, without 
tempera ; and without this colour you can do nothing, — I mean, you 
cannot paint flesh, or make tints of the other colours which are 
necessary in painting on walls, namely, in fresco; and it never 
requires any tempera." — Cennino, p, 31. 

The yellow colours, consisting of ochres of various shades, require 
no particular notice. Giallorino (Naples yellow) is however some- 
times admitted into fresco painting, but it should not be used where 
the paintings are much exposed to the air. 

The brown colours are also too well known to need a separate notice. 
The artist will, of course, remember the tendency of umber to grow 
darker with time, and wiU avoid those pigments which contain 
vegetable matter. 


Having thus inquired into the nature of the various colours used 
in fresco painting, I may be allowed to observe in conclusion that all 
writers are agreed in certain general principles, namely, that none 
but natural earthy colours can be used with safety and propriety in 
fresco painting, that these colours are not brilliant, but rather the 
contrary, and that they derive their beauty from the harmony of the 


IN FRB9CO Painting. Iv 

arrangement, and the judicious opposition of the colours. Cennino 
and others praise cert&in colours which they say are equal to lake in 
fresco ; they are right, because the colours to which they allude will 
appear like lake when skilfully contrasted with the other colours used 
in this kind of painting, but if compared with the colours we call 
lake and carmine, I have no doubt they would be found very dissimi- 
lar. The Amatito and burnt Roman vitriol will harmonize well with 
the ochres and other earths, but if lake were used, (supposing it 
could be used in fresco), it would, like the bright blue in the frescoes 
of RomaneUi in the Louvre, and those of the Carracci, be out of 
harmony with the rest of the picture. If lakes and cobalt be used 
in fresco, it will be necessary to procure yellows of equal brilliancy, 
but I apprehend that pictures painted with such colours would 
lose in harmony what they gained in brilliancy ; such colours are too 
glaring and intrusive for the decorations of buildings. To judge of 
their effect it is only necessary to compare the ceilings of the Louvre 
painted by the modem French school, which are as brilliant as the 
finest lakes, yellows, and blues can make them, with the quiet beauty 
and mellowness of the frescoes of Romanelli in the Salles des An- 
tiques, (always, however, excepting the blue, which is too powerful 
for the other colours). It will be remembered that Titian and Raf- 
faello used chiefly earths and common colours even in painting in oil, 
instead of the more expensive and brilliant colours. No one capable 
of forming an opinion can suppose they would have preferred the 
former to the latter, if they had not had the best and most convinc- 
ing reasons for so doing. We are all too much inclined to seek the 
perfection of colouring in the pigments themselves instead of in the 
harmonious combination and opposition of the several colours, and to 
attribute to the vehicle and colours the effect which the skill of the 
artist alone can produce. 

There is one point, however, on which particular care is required, 
namely, that the colours used should be the very best of the kind, 
the brightest, purest, and finest that can be obtained, and besides 
that> it is necessary, as Armenino observes, to be very clean and 
careful in using them in order to preserve them pure and distinct, 
because, by every slight mixture that fedls into them, they become 
soiled and lose a great deal of their brightness. 



In conclusion, I may observe that considerable difEculty and mach 
labour has been added to this investigation, arising from the 
confusion in the names and technical terms, some authors using 
the names derived from the Greek, others from the Latin, others 
from the Arabic, and others the names derived from the colloquial 
language of commerce. In the same language, different terms are 
used, and different names given to the same substances ; and not 
unfrequently, the same names are given to different substances. It 
will also be considered that the investigation has been pursued 
through various languages, written at periods distant from each 
other, and by authors, some with an extensive, others with a limited 
knowledge of the subject. These circumstances have added to the 
difficulties of this inquiry, and with the candid reader will form some 
excuse for any mistakes that may have occurred in this investigation* 















The very interesting work from which the following commentary on 
part of the seventh book of Vitruvius is translated, was written in 
Spanish, by Don Felipe de Guevara, who has incorporated in his 
work all that is material and practical in Vitruvius, on the subject of 
fresco painting. Guevara occupied the post of Gentil-hombre de hoca 
(that is the prince's taster) to the Emperor Charles the Fifth. 

The period of his birth is unknown; but he mentions, in the course 
of the work, that he fought in the celebrated victory at Tunis, and 
was in the island of Sicily in the year 1535. He travelled over 
Italy and Flanders, and appears to have been well versed in all that 
relates to the fine arts, which his situation in the court of Charles 
the Fifth and Philip the Second gjive him ample opportunities of study- 
ing. Guevara appears to have been one of the greatest antiquaries of 
his time, and he possessed a valuable collection of medals and coins. 
He wi'ote a work, which has never been published, on the medals and 
coins of the different cities of Spain, which Ambrosio de Morales 
(who was personally acquainted with our author,) mentions in his 



Spanish antiquities in terms of the highest praise. The manuscript 
of this work on coins, to which Guevara alludes in his commentaries, 
(p. 244) is lost. 

The present work, which is entitled '* Commentaries on Painting," 
must have been written after the year 1550, because the author 
mentions the work of Vasari which was published in that year, and 
hefore the commencement of the building of the Escurial, which 
was undertaken to commemorate the victory of St. Quintin in 1557* 
The work was dedicated to Philip the Second, but was never pre- 
sented, nor was it ever published by the author, but was found in a 
bookseller's shop by Don Josef Alfonso de Roa, a person eminent for 
his hterary attainments and love for the fine arts, by whom it was 
sent to Don Antonio Ponz, author of the Viage de Espana, and a 
friend of Mengs, who published it in 1788, and who wrote the notes 
appended to the following pages, to which his name is attached. 



Of preparing walls and roofs. — It appears to me,, (says 
Guevara.) that it will not be unseasonable, but on the contrary, 
necessary, since I have treated of the origin and beginning of 
painting in fresco,* to show on what kind of walls and roofs 
the ancients adopted this method of painting, and how they pre- 
pared these walls, as well as what whitewashings and preparations they 
employed in order to make this kind of painting firm, so that it may last 
long, be agreeable and durable. The method is that described by 
Vitruvius, Book vii. c. iii., but from the style in which it is written I 
suspect it has been noticed but by few : at least, we see the use of 
what the Italians now call stucco, much changed and corrupted. 
This I think must have occasioned new inventions for facilitating works 
of this description, that they might resemble those which were more 
ancient and perfect, although they were not equal to them in reality ; 
and as there are perhaps but few who have a real knowledge of 
antiquities, these works are passed off for antiques, by persons of 

* The following is the passage alluded to in the text ; ** Ludius invented and 
taught how to paint on uncovered places in maritime cities, with little expense, 
and in a mosjt agreeable manner. This is the kind of painting which in Italy is 
termed fresco, and with which are painted what the Italians call fa9ades, and 
we the exterior of houses ; it is understood that, in the opinion of Pliny, Ludius 
was the inventor of this kind of painting at Rome." Page 49. It is unnecessary 
to observe, that the passage in Pliny is considered, by many writers, to refer 
to distemper painting f and not to fresco, — Ed. 


ind]£erent repntation who authorize such practices. Vitruvius con- 
trives the roof (of the apartment) that is to he covered with what is 
now called hy the new term stucco, in the following manner : he sa3rs, 
that after having fixed the timhers of the room, they are to he mor- 
ticed with cross pieces, made of timher which has the property 
of not warping, as that of hox, oak, cypress, juniper, and the olive. 
The holm oak fencidaj is to he avoided hecause it is apt to warp, and 
occasion cracks which injure the stucco. In our Spain the pine of 
Ouenca* and Balsain,^ when old and dry is good, hecause this wood 
is solid and durable. 

These cross pieces are to be nailed with strong nails, which will 
hold them firmly and prevent warping. But it must be observed, 
fis we learn from Vitruvius, that these are not so durable and safe 
on flat roofs, as on those that are somewhat vaulted and curved, that 
in such walls this kind of work, which is called stucco, has great 
sotidity ; and if the vault or ceiling of the apartment be made of 
bricks or other similar materials, many inconveniences would be 
avoided, and many things would be unnecessary that wooden roofs 
require, without covering the roof immediately with the first coating 
of mortar, as is usual in walb of stones and bricks. 

Vitruvius next directs, that in roofs constructed of timber, the 
cross-pieces being first fixed and firmly nailed, reeds are to be 
bruised and split, and fastened to the roof (as the curve requires) with 
rushes^ or slips of Spanish broom tied firmly, as is now done when 
roofs are to be covered with gesso, and as was anciently the custom 
in Spain, and is stiU in Andalusia and the kingdom of Grenada, on 
account of the deficiency of wood in some places for this purpose. 

The rushes or broom should be fastened to the reeds with great 
care and skill, for in this operation consists a great part of the perfec- 
tion of the work, and they should be fastened with nails'^ between the 
rushes. This being done, Vitruvius says, " trusilar the roof." This 
word "trusilar," which neither the Italian nor the Latin interpreters of 

* A city of New Castile situated between the rivers Xucar and Haescar — Ed. 

^ A forest near the city of Segovia, where the Kings of Spain formerly diverted 
themselves with hunting. — ^Ed. 

^ In Italian, called cannegreehe (large rushes), as contradistinguished from the 
smaller reeds found in marshes. They are also called stuoje. See Italian trans- 
latitm qf Vitrumus by B. Or9mi,page 69.— Ed. 

^ Vitruvius says, the nails should be of wood. — Ed. 


Vitruvius have explained throws confusion on this part of the treatise.* 
It appears to me that tmsilar has the same meaning as our Spanish 
term xakarrar, which is the first coat of mortar given to the walls 
in order to prepare them to receive the whiter coats (blanqueada) , 

But although the signification of the word " tmsilar" may be 
what I have said, and which I dare affirm, there arises a new doubt 
as to the nature of the mixture with which the roof has to be 
plastered; for it appears clear from Vitruvius, that the word 
" tntsilar" does not describe either of the three sand coats, or either 
of the three marble coats, but is a distinct and separate process. 
Filandro, the interpreter of Vitruvius, suspects that " tmsilar" 
means a coat of gesso, and Budeo affirms that this is the true signi- 
fication of the word '* tmsilar" 

My opinion is, that " tmsilar" always signifies the first preparation 
which we call ** exakarrar" and that it consists sometimes of gesso, 
and sometimes of other materials, as this does of which Vitruvius now 
treats; for he expressly directs, that on no consideration should 
gesso be mixed with this coat of plaster which the modems call 
stucco, and he condemns such a mixture as bad and injurious.^ I 
think that this word tmsilar or xaharrar, of which we are speaking, 
applies to a coat of lime, with which, instead of sand, pulverised 
bricks or tiles,^ or other similar substances are mixed, for it is well 
known that such a mixture works better and sets more firmly than 
one of chalk and sand. 

My opinion is confirmed by the authority of Vitruvius himself, 
who in Book v. chap. x. speaking of roofs of vaults, says, inferior 

** The word used in the Italian translation of Baldassare Orsini, (1802) is 
Rinzaffare, the Florentine term for the first coat of mortar. L. B. Alberti like- 
wise gives this name to the first coat of mortar. — Ed. 

^ It is said, it was this mixture of gesso with the ground of Giotto's pictures in 
the Campo Santo of Pisa, that caused their destruction. Vasari gives this reason 
for their perishing, but he does not allude to the work of Vitruvius. In the Art 
Union for March 1842, it is stated that Anthony Gegenbauer has painted at 
Rome some movable frescoes on canvass, upon a ground composed of lime and 
gypsum. It is much to be feared the advantage obtained in painting from 
damping the back of the canvass, (by which the artist was enabled to work for 
two or three days on the same picture) will be more than counterbalanced by 
the want of durability in the picture, occasioned by the Incompatibility of the 
materials of the ground. — Ed. 

^ Vitruvius used this mixture of lime and pounded brick in places exposed to 
damp. Book vii. c. iii. — Ed. 


ttutempars, qua adpavimentum spectat, testa primum cum calce trussiletur, 
deinde opere tectorio sive alhario poUatur, The meaning of these words 
is, that the front part of the roof that corresponds with the floor, 
should be first plastered with lime and the powder of baked pottery, 
such as bricks, tiles, &c., and afterwards the whitewash should be 
applied. This coat of lime and powdered brick having been applied, 
the roof should receive three other coats of lime and sand.*^ After 
having applied the first, time should be given for it to dry, then the 
second should be applied and suffered to dry, and then the third coat 
should be given, so that after the first coat of plaster there should 
be three coats of lime and sand. These having been applied and 
suffered to dry, three other coats of lime and marble dust should 
be given, the first thick, the second thinner, and the third thinner 
still.^ After the application of these three coats, the wall should be 
smoothed or polished with pieces of smooth wood or other instru- 
ment used for burnishing, not liable to injure the surface. All these 
coats of plaster should be appHed by rule and plummet, that no 
difficulties should afterwards arise when the wall has to be painted. 

The plastering, says Vitruvius, which has been applied with care, 
will be firm and durable, and will never crack, because the burnishing 
will have given it great firmness and a polish of wonderful brilliancy, 
and the colours which are applied on it will be very bright and beau- 
tifcd ; for colours which are employed and used upon roofs and walls 
that are fresh and just finished will last for ever, and will not fade, 
because the moisture which was in the lime when it was burnt in the 
kDn, is dried up and consumed in such a manner that it remains porous, 
and ready to receive and absorb an3rthing added to it ; and thus 
mixed and united with substances possessing other properties, and 
the materials and principles of the one being united with those of 
the others, when dry, the whole solidifies and hardens in such a man- 
ner after the mixture, that the lime seems to have recovered its 
peculiar properties and pristine hardness. 

For this reason walls that are well finished, neither become soiled 
by age, nor, if rubbed or cleaned, do the colours come off or fade, 

■ The sand coat, (for one only is applied,) is called in Italian, ArricciatOt in 
Spanish, Arenado, — Ed. 

^ The Intonaco, One coat only is applied in modem fresco painting. Mr. Wilson 
(II. Rep. p. 38,) thinks that lime with marhle dust does not make a good 
intonaco ; and he cites the arabesques, painted by Giovanni da Udlna in the 
upper Loggia of the Vatican, in support of his opinion. — Ed. 


unless they have been applied carelessly or in secco ; so that if the • 
coats of plaster have been applied in the manner described, they will 
be firm and bright, and have the property of resisting the ravages of 
time, for when only one covering of lime and sand, and another of 
lime and marble dust is applied, this weak crust cracks and spoils 
easily, nor does it, from its want of solidity, preserve the polish 
given to it by friction. 

The same thing happens to plastering that is deficient in thickness 
as to a mirror which is too thin, and which therefore reflects but 
weak and uncertain images : on the contrary, the wall that has 
received a thick coat of plaster takes a durable polish, and presents to 
the spectators distinct and bright images ; consequently, thin coats 
of plaster, which cover the surface but imperfectly, are not only 
Uable to crack, but soon decay, whereas those that are prepared 
solidly with sand coats and marble coats of good thickness and 
which are afterwards well polished and burnished, not only cause 
the colours to appear lively and brilliant, but they present true 
images to the spectators. 

This is in part what Vitruvius has written concerning the plaster- 
ing of walls ; and from this author's description, we learn that the 
true stucco consists of a coat of lime and brick, the proportions of 
which should be two parts of lime and one of pounded brick, and of 
three coats of lime and sand ; the first of which should consist of 
common and coarse sand, the second should be finer and should 
generally be sifted, bu); sometimes this is unnecessary. Upon these 
sand coats should be appHed three other coats of marble and lime. 

The marble is prepared in the following manner; after being 
ground it should be passed through sieves of three different sizes ; 
that which passes through the coarsest sieve is to be used for the 
first coat of lime and marble dust, the second size for the second 
coat, and the finest for the third coat ; and I must inform you that 
there are two kinds of marble ; in some quarries are found lumps 
only of marble, and these will do for the stucco ; the other is more 
perfect and in larger masses, the dust of which will answer the 

It is proper to observe, that where marble cannot be obtained, the 
white pebbles found near the rivers in Spain, if burnt, ground, and 
sifted, as in the glass furnaces, are well adapted for this purpose ; 
and even, if there should be sufi&cient marble, these white pebbles 


should be mixed with the stucco, in order to render the work more 
brilHant. Pliny praises the stucco, which consisted of three sand 
coats and two marble coats, and adds that Panaeus the brother of 
Phidias, covered the walls of the temple of Minerva, in EUs, with- 
lime and marble, mixed with milk and saffi'on. 

Milk communicates great solidity and whiteness to the lime,^ and 
this secret is known in some places, where it is worked up with the 
lime instead of water. Pliny says, that in his time these walls were 
rubbed with a moistened finger that merely smelled of saffron; 
whence we understand that the addition of the safiron was merely 
for the pleasant smell. 

We should not omit to say, that the Greeks were accustomed to 
plaster the wall in the manner we have described,^ and moreover, for 
the purpose of increasing their solidity, after having mixed the lime 
with the marble, they put it mixed into large mortars, and, by force 
of labour and blows, ground the mixture thoroughly, that the 
ingredients might incorporate into a tough and viscous substance, 
and afterwards, with the same industry and diligence, they plastered 
the wall. It is said also, treating of the good properties which the 
lime for this kind of plastering should possess, that there was an old 
law, forbidding the use of lime that was less than thiee years 
old in plastering buildings, and this, they say, was one of the 
reasons why it never cracked: at the present time, however, no 

* As to mixing the lime with milk instead of water, it is certain that it gives 
more consistency to the lime and produces a more mellow white colour. The 
Spanish word, eneanar, signifies to apply the whitewash with a brush, in the 
manner of the whitewashers by profession. In several provinces of Spain, par- 
ticularly in Estremadura, Tierra de Campos, Valencia, &c., the female servants, 
and wives of the labourers, are accustomed to whitewash with rags put into a 
large reed, and this process is called " enjahegar" (enxalvegar)^ whitewashing. 
It is usually done with white earth. — Pom, 

^ To make the viscous mixture which results from the mixture of Ume and 
pulverized marhle or white pebbles with milk, the lime should be steeped some 
years in water, taking care to stir it every day. When there is occasion to use 
it, the necessary quantity is taken out with a piece of hoard with a handle, called 
in Spanish a pakta, and thrown into the mortar with the powder of marble or 
pebbles, and also the milk ; the whole is to be beaten vnth the pestle until it is 
of the consistence of glue. A coat of the requisite thickness is then to be ap- 
plied with the paleta, and afterwards it is washed with a wet cloth, and if it 
should crack it must be smoothed and polished with the same paletUy or vdth 
spatulas made on purpose. — Pom, The paleta appears to be a float of wood. 


attention is paid to this subject, to the great prejudice of the pro- 
prietors of the work.^ 

To proceed : the ancients, after plastering the roofs, ornamented 
them in various ways, making the roofs of winter rooms plain and 
smooth, that they might be easily cleaned from the smoke of fire and 
candles. In summer apartments they were accustomed to use orna- 
ments in relievo, to which they gave the form of wreaths and* com- 
partments, in the same manner as the plaster mouldings now used in 
alcoves, cabinets, and oratories ; and this composition may be moulded 
with the honey^ of the plasterers ; for Vitruvius says, that the roofs 
being finished, the cornices should be added, and these should be 
narrow and of light weight, because heavy cornices could not well be 
supported, and they would fall down from their own weight.*^ 

For this reason, it is evident that the ancients composed first the 
cornices, compartments, wreaths of fiowers, and similar works, and 
then fixed them up to the roof with glue^ or ¥rith the same stucco, 
or any other thing that would hold them firmly, as is now done by 
our modellers in plaster. So that from my description may be 
understood what kind of stucco used by the ancients, and in our own 
times in many parts of Italy, is best adapted to secure durability. 

Of the Colours. — Having now described the manner in which 
the ancients plastered their walls, and prepared them for painting, it 
seems proper also to describe the colours which are used in painting 
in fresco. Vitruvius mentions two kinds of colours, namely, natural 
and artificial or compound colours. Among the natural colours he 
reckons ochre, the sil atticum,^ which some say should be of a purplish 
crimson colour, and almagra. He praises that of Sinope, of Egypt 

" It cannot be denied that in order for the lime to acquire all the good 
qualities described, it should remain in water for two or three years; it will after 
this period be found excellent for the construction of brick vaults, purified, firm, 
and of the finest quality. — Pom, 

^ The honey of the plasterers is apparently that soft mass of gesso which the 
plasterers and whitewashers use for the last coating on mouldings. — Ponz, This 
is probably the same as the gesso da oro of the Italians. — Ed. 

<^ Vitruvius also cautions us against using gesso in these cornices, but desires 
us to use the same materials throughout, because, as the gesso sets sooner than 
the other mixture, the work would dry unevenly. — Ed. 

^ The word " betun" here used signifies any glutinous matter, and seems to be 
synonymous with the Italian word mastrice. — Ed. 

^ It appears quite clear that Vitruvius meant yellow ochre, which he called 
" light yellow earth."— Ed. 


and of Spain, and that of the isles of Mallorca (Majorca)" and 
Lemnos. He also enumerates among the natural colours the Pare- 
tonium, thus called from the place whence it is brought. Fhny says, 
that Paretonium'' is produced from the froth of the sea mixed with 
potter's clay, and that it had more body than any other kind of white. 
He also mentions Melinum, which is brought from the isle of Melos, 
which is of an agreeable colour like that of a quince.*^ He also names 
creta verde, which may readily be supposed to be the Verde Terra now 
in use ; and Orpiment ; and natural Sandaiac which differs from the 
artificial, that is called by some persons burnt arsenic.^ He mentions 
also Vermilion, which he admits, if used in places exposed to the sun, 
air, and moon, in a few days perishes and turns black.^ He also 
names Chrysocola, (which some say is borax) which the same Vitru- 
vius. Book VII. chap, xiv, gives us to understand is a natural 
green pigment procured from mines of gold and silver.^ He also 
enumerates among the colours Indico (which the Venetians call 
Ekidigo) the colour of which is a dark blue inclining to black. 

These are the natural colours which Vitruvius enumerates among 
those used in painting on walls. Among the artificial colours he 
includes atramentum,« which is a black colour composed of the smoke 
of pitch, and resin, and other ingredients ; he also includes sil, lumps 
of which being made red hot and quenched in vinegar, become of a 
red colour.^ The ancients also used white lead burnt, which we call 

'■ From this it will be seen that the Sinopia of the ancients was identical with 
the Ahnayra of the Arabs and Spaniards, and also with Majorica. — Ed. 

*» Pliny, book xxxv. chap. 6. Probably the variety of carbonate of magnesia, 
called " Meerschaum," or Ecume de Mer. — See Phillip's Mineralogy, page 180. 

^ Pliny says it was white in colour, and that it could not be used in fresco. — Ed. 

'^ Native Red Orpiment. Baidassare Orsini, the Italian translator of 
Vitruvius, observes that all the natural colours mentioned by Vitruvius are not 
proper for painting in fresco, neither are the artificial, with the exception of 
coeruleo or smaltino and black. — Ed. 

* Baidassare Orsini says, there is no doubt that native Cinnabar may be used 
in fresco, but the other kind cannot, unless it be prepared after the manner of 
Pozzo. — Ed. 

' This must be Malachite or native carbonate of copper, page 94. — See Treatise 
on Colours, prefixed to this work. — It is necessary to remark that borax is 
colourless, and cannot therefore be used as a green pigment. — Ed. 

V As this colour is to be used with glue, it must be used when painting in 
secco, and not in fresco : because in painting in fresco, the colours are tempered 
with pure water or lime water. — See Baidassare Orsini's notes to his translation 
of Vitruvius. — Ed. •> Burnt ochre. — Ed. 


Azarcon.* He also names iEnica (iErugo), which is called in our 
language Verde Cardenillo.^ 

He also mentions Ostrum,^ which he says is the most excellent of 
all artificial colours ; in our language it is called carmine or crimson ; 
and finally, as he reckons purple among these colours, he ohserves^ 
respecting its composition, that if chalk he mixed with the roots of 
the rubia^ and ysgino, that the produce is a purple (or crimson) 
colour. He says that ysgino is the same as vaccinium or hyacinth, 
which is a kind of violet or purple gilMower, and that if this vac- 
cinium be mixed with milk, it produces a fine purple or crimson 
colour ; and in default of attic ochre, if dried yellow violets be put 
into water and afterwards well boiled, strained through a cloth, and 
well squeezed between the hands into a mortar, a coloured liquor 
will flow, which, being afterwards mixed with Terra Eretria and well 
ground, imitates the colour of attic ochre. 

Also, those persons who are prevented from purchasing natural 
Chrysocola on account of its deamess, take the yeUow herb lutea,^ 
which is of the same colour as the yolk of an egg and mix it with 
blue, and the two colours compose a bright green. Also, if Indico 
cannot be obtained, an imitation is made by mixing Terra Selemnusia, 
which is white, and glass,^ and grinding them together. Pliny adds, 
that the dung of doves mixed with glass produces the same colour. 
With this colour, says Pliny, are painted the bodies of women.s 

• Red lead. — Ed. ^ Verdigris. — ^Ed. 

^ The Tyrian purple, prepared from a fish found in the Mediterranean. — ^Ed. 

^ Rubia tinctoriat madder. — Ed. 

^ The Italian translators render the term lutea hj guado, woad; but this 
plant yields a blue dye. It is probably the Reseda luteohf a native of Europe, 
which yields a very fine yellow dye. — ^The pigment, called Dutch pink, is 
made from this plant. — Ed. 

' Vitruvius says, " with the glass which the Greeks call vaXov (hyalon,) or 
Vestorianum." Galliani and Orsini, the Italian translators say, " this glass is 
synonymous with what the Italians call * smaltino,' which was and is used still 
in fresco painting in Italy." — Ed. 

« The author has made a strange mistake. Pliny, book xxxv. chap. 6, in 
describing the colour called Jnnularia, says, it was used for painting the carna- 
tions in picturei of women, and is made of a white chalk or earth mixed with 
a common kind of glass, of which rings were made for the common people ; 
whence its name. — Ed. 


These are the colours,* according to Vitruvius, with which, in his 
time, perfect and agreeable pictures were painted on walls, and I 
have mentioned them, not because we are at the present time in 
want of colours, for these are well known to those who take an 
interest in antiquities, but because the colours which were anciently 
used upon those walls, may also be used at the present day. Finally, 
from this description, we learn how to prepare walls for painting on 
in a perfect and durable manner. "We have proofs of the durability 
of this kind of painting, in the pictures which have been found in the 
ruins of Rome and other parts of Italy, and which, after having been 
exposed to the air, and afterwards covered with earth, are still 
bright, sound, and beautiful.^ 

We also learn the advantage of employing this stucco instead of 
gesso on the walls of houses, even where it is not intended to paint 
them, and of using rehevos of stucco instead of those of gesso, and 
how easy it is to do so, since the mountains of Toledo furnish suffi- 
cient marble, and the rivers supply white pebbles in abundance, 
while the " honey" of the modellers*^ before mentioned, serves to fill 
the moulds for moulding friezes and cornices, and similar things in 
stucco, in the same manner as until the present time has been done 
with gesso. 

Vitruvius appears to have omitted two things, which would have 
completed his description of the manner in which the ancients 
plastered the walls and painted on them. The first is, how they kept 
the wall damp, after having burnished it in order to paint on it, and 
how they finished the painting before the wall dried, for he says that 
the colours should be appHed before the wall dried. The second 
question is, how they used the colours, and how they tempered the 
colours for painting on walls. Since, then, he does not tell us, what 
must have been notorious to every one, it appears to me that I am 
justified in conjecturing how they should be applied, if not in de- 
scribing the process. 

* Guevara has omitted to notice the blue pigment coeruleum, mentioned by 
>^trovius. The description by VitruYius of the composition of this colour is 
given in the Treatise on Colours, ante. 

^ The modems have superseded the tedious and careful preparations of the 
ancients with regard to their fresco paintings, with much saying of time, by 
employing only one sand coat or application of lime and sand. The process 
has been well explained by Don Ant. Palomino in the second vol. of the Muteo. 
PicioricOf page 98 and foUowing pages. Ponz. ^ ** Gesso da Oro.*' — Ed. 



For this purpose, it is necessary to suppose that the present method 
is incorrect and badly conducted, because the artists of these times 
plaster a portion of the wall, (assuming that the plaster that is used 
is recent) and then paint it : they then add another portion of plas- 
tering and paint it in the same maimer. In fact, this plastering is 
done piece-meal and not in a whole or a mass, which is attended 
with great inconvenience ; for plastering, executed in this maimer, 
can neither be perfect nor durable, and will have cracks and other 
defects ; for it is evident the portion of plaster which is added to 
the first piece which is quite dry, cannot unite or incorporate with it 
as firmly as it would have done if the plastering had all been com- 
pleted at once.* Whence it appears that this manner of plastering 
has imperfections which time will shew us every day. Besides this, 
the wall that has been plastered by portions, vrill not allow of the 
polishing mentioned by Vitruvius, as an essential requisite for perfect- 
ing the work, and for ensuring the durabUity and beauty of the walls; 
for if we wish to work quickly on those walls plastered in portions, we 
can neither do it well nor even moderately well, because the painting 
in fresco is injured in the parts where it joins the new plastering. 
Moreover, such walls cannot be constructed properly, by rule and 
plummet, but must of necessity be full of hard lumps and hollows on 
account of the joinings of the different masses, at the time of uniting 
the fresh plastering with that which is dry,^ 

*■ The durability of the firesco paintings of the modems, since the time 
Guevara wrote his work, is proved by their having lasted some centuries. Those 
by Luca Cambiaso, in the roof of the choir of the Escurial, and in the Presbytery, 
and those of Peregrino Tibaldi in that of the Library, and in the walls of the 
choir of the Royal Monastery, which are all in perfect preservation, have lasted more 
than two centuries. This durability, I have said, may be continued some cen- 
turies, provided, that the roofs and walls of these edifices can be preserved from 
the penetration of rain, and other inclemencies of the weather, which destroy 
them in the same manner as conflagrations, earthquakes and similar things. 
— Ponz, 

^ The works of Giordano in the Escurial in Madrid, and in Toledo, do not ex- 
hibit these defects, and the junctions of the tareas (day's work) are scarcely 
visible, neither are there prominences nor hollows. These pictures will doubt- 
less last like those by Palomino in Valencia, Granada, el Paular, &c., as fresh as 
we now see them and equal to those above-mentioned, and also to those of the 
ancients, if the same precautions be observed, provided the buildings in which 
they are contained be preserved. Mengs, who was a great investigator of the 
arts of the ancients, painted his works in fresco, according to the modern practice. 


Having mentioned the inconveniences, let us now speak of the 
remedy. For this purpose we must suppose that the ancient 
painters were very diligent and prudent; I therefore consider it 
certain that they did not plaster the wall in portions, hut that, whe- 
ther it was large or small, they finished plastering the whole at one 
time, and then painted it with such expedition and diligence, that 
the painting and the wall dried together ;^ not taking into consider- 
ation that they knew how to keep the wall damp for some days. 

in the royal palace and other places. Perhaps if these pictures were buried and 
then exposed to the sun, air, and water, they might not last so long as those of 
the ancients referred to by Don Felipe de Guevara, and it is certain that the 
preservation of the paintings found in the sepulchres, and those covered with the 
burning lavas of Vesuvius in the excavations of Caserta and of Herculaneum, is 
really wonderful. Ponz, 

* Sig. Requeue (Saggio sul Ristabilimento, &c.) is of opinion that the ancients 
did not really paint in btum-freteo as the Italians do, but that they coloured the walls 
in fresco, with a single colour, and then painted the figures on them in secco. — 
In the note to vol. 1, page 190, he says, " In the work of Vitruvius there is 
no mention made of painting, as is generally believed, but only of the preparation 
of the tn/onaco for painting, in Chap. 3, * De tectoriisoperibru* The preparation of 
the mtonaco was formerly made, as Vitruvius says, firstly — ^with six coats of 
intonaco\ secondly — staining the intonaco, while still wet, with one colour, some- 
times red, sometimes black, sometimes blue, &c. It was not every colour that 
was used on this occasion, on the wet lime and marble dust. Pliny expressly tells 
us, ' Uido iUini recusant purpurinumf indacum,* 8fc. (Purpurinum, indigo, &c. 
cannot be used in fresco ;) and of another colour he tells us, that it is ' calcis 
impaiienSf' (that it cannot bear lime). The words of Vitruvius, * coloret udo 
ieetorio cum diligenter iunt inductif Sfc.* (when the colours are carefully laid 
on the wet plaster,) must undoubtedly be understood of the various colours vrith 
which the intonachi, while stQl wet, were stained. Then that the preparation 
of the ifUonaeo for painting on, of which alone Vitruvius speaks in this chapter, 
formerly included the operation of colouring the intonaco. before it was dry, with 
red or yellow, or with some other colour, which, besides what Vitruvius tells us 
in this third chapter of his ' De teetorus operibuSf' is proved by the ancient 
pictures of Herculaneum. When, by any accident, the colours of these scale off, 
the uniform colour of the ground beneath the elegant figures with which they 
are painted is seen. As authorities, I cite Winckelmann, and the academicians 
of Herculaneum, who, observing that when some of the pictures were cleaned 
with water, all the colours of the figures washed off, and there remained a gpH>und, 
uniform in colour, smooth, fair, and polished, upon the ancient walls, concluded 
that the pictures of Herculaneum were painted by the Romans, in aeccOf upon 
an intonaco, stained in fresco. The authority of Vitruvius, chapter iii., must 
therefore be understood of the preparation of the coloured mtonachi, intended to 
be painted with figures, landscapes, or ornaments ; and the text, * Cohres udo 


I have, however, thought of two plans, by which a fresh plastered 
wall may be kept moist, so that it may be finished with all the expe- 
dition which Vitruvius directs. One is, that the plastering being 
finished, the whole of it (except such parts as the artist is painting) 

teetorio cum diligenter wnt inductif ideo non remittunt, ted sunt perpetuo 
permanentes/ — (When the colours are carefully laid on the wet plaster, they 
do not on that account fade, but are eternally permanent,) — ^and the other text, 
* Hague tectoria^ qyuB rede nmt facia, neque vetuetatibue fiuni horrida, n&quecum 
extergentur remittunt colorea, nUi siparum diligenter et in arido/uerint inducti* 
— (Therefore the plasterings which are properly done, neither become rough 
with age, nor, when washed, do their colours fade, unless laid on with little care, 
and when the plaster was dry,) — ^must be understood of the colours, sometimes 
yellow, sometimes black, sometimes blue, with which the wet intonachi vrere 
anciently covered. Moreover, Vitruvius, as we have already mentioned, orders 
the glue to be mixed with the colours for painting on the above mentioned 
intonachi ; he also directs white lead, made from lead and vinegar, to be used ; 
all which things are incompatible with true fresco painting. 

** Hence it follows, that the Marchese Berardo Galliani was mistaken in his 
interpretation of this third chapter of Vitruvius, when he wrote (note iv.) * The 
ancients had two methods of painting on walls : one in fresco, udo teetorio; the 
other in eecco in arido,' Vitruvius nowhere speaks of painting, udo teetorio, 
but of colouring, udo teetorio. The plasterers sometimes colour with white, 
sometimes with red, inducunt cohree tectoriis ; but they do not paint. 

'* Hence it follows, that the person who continued the * Memorieper U beUe 
arti* printed at Rome, in July, 1785, had no cause for his astonishment at niy 
denial that the ancients possessed our method of fresco painting, properly so 
called. ' The denial,' says he, ' that the ancients painted in fresco, seems to 
us rather extraordinary, and not agreeable to what Vitruvius says about painting 
udo teetorio; and moreover that this painting is seized by the mortar, and is not 
destroyed by washing.' This modest and genteel Sig. Diaiista will not find the 
words /»ie/ura or pingere in the passage of Vitruvius, for Vitruvius never speaks 
of painting udo teetorio ; * Colores,* says Vitruvius, * udo teetorio cum 
diligenter sunt inducti,* — (when the colours are carefully laid on the wet 
plaster ;) an expression which indicates only the practice of staining the wet 
intonaco, sometimes with red, and sometimes with some other colour. So also, 
Vitruvius never says that this painting is seized by the lime ; but that the 
colours with which the wet intonaco was stained, became incorporated with the 
intonaco, the plaster seizing and retaining them, so that when washed with 
water, they do not separate from the wall, which is exemplified in the walls of 
Herculaneum, on which th^ red or yellow colour of the intonaco is not afiected 
by the water with which they are rubbed, but the painting does not stand ; on 
the contrary, it yields to the water and washes ofif.* The paintings at the 

* The Aiabetques by Giovanni da Udina, in the upper Loggia of the Vatican, were painted 
in the manner here described.—See II. Beport, page 38. 


should be covered with Imen soaked in very pure water ;• for this 
linen cloth, besides preserving the moisture of the plastering, will 
moreover prevent the air from drying it ; and as to the parts on 
which the artist is painting, he should proceed as follows. Clean 
sponges should be steeped in very pure water, and partially squeezed, 
and then applied to the parts of the plastering most necessary to be 
kept moist, and this process being repeated frequently and with pro- 
per care, the wall may be kept moist a sufficient time, and thus we 
shall attain the end desired ; namely, to have old walls painted with 
great firmness and in the most perfect manner. 

It remains to be noticed, that Vitruvius has not informed us with 
what the colours employed on such walls were tempered. The 
modems have remedied this by using lime-water ; and as this has 
been found successful in painting, we believe that the ancients used 
the same, and if they did not, that this is sufficient, even if the an- 
cients did not use it. However, I must remark, that the modems 

Thermae, and at the sepulchres of the ancient Romans, must also be considered 
as painted in secco; so that the theory of the chemist, (which may be seen in 
the * Effemeridi Letterarie di Roma,*) a theory consisting in applying 
phlogiston, and by that means restoring to their former splendour the 
colouring of the ancient pictures, is liable to some exceptions. This theory 
supposes, firstly, that the pictures on intonaco, found in the excavations at 
Rome, were painted in true fresco ; secondly, that the colors were all mineral 
colours. I consider, that according to the authority of Vitruvius, both these 
propositions are equally false. I grant that the colours on the ancient intonaehi 
may be revived by phlogiston ; but I deny the truth of the arguments which 
induced them to try this. 

** The reason, however, why the ancients did not paint in fresco, when they 
well knew that the plaster of the intonaco seized the colours, and that the 
colours so applied, resisted the inclemency of the weather, is a very different 
question from the first. Whether the ancient Romans did or did not employ 
our method of fresco painting, is a question of fact ; and from facts we know that 
the ancient Romans did not paint in true fresco. The above mentioned question 
is a speculation. 

** Pictures in true fresco require lime, instead of white lead, to mix with the 
colours ; and colours mixed with lime produce a very different effect when dry, 
to what they do while wet. Painting in true fresco requires such quickness and 
readiness in the application of the colours, that at present, there are but very few 
painters in Italy, who both sketch and finish their figures in true fresco." — Ed. 

* The artists of Munich have a contrivance for arresting the drying of the 
work, which is somewhat similar to that described by Guevara. See I. Rep. 
page 18."— Ed. 




deceive themselves in thinking that the ancients did not nse artificial 
colours on walls, bat natoral pigments only, and those chiefly of 
earths. Of this mistake Vitnivias is sufficient evidence, since he 
not only gives us an account of the artificial colours they used, but 
also describes the composition of some of them.* 

Those persons, then, who profess the art should experiment with 
the artificial colours, if they would employ them with the same 
success as the ancients, it being understood that, at the present time, 
colours of this description are not used in the same manner as they 
were by the ancients ; they should study the subject and seek a 
remedy for it ; for it is not just that noblemen who love such works, 
and who cause them to be executed, should be deprived of that 
brilliancy which artificial pigments (of which there are so many) give 
to the picture by the negligence and insufficiency of the artist ; and 
especially they should work with great care, because the colours of 
those earthy pigments that they use are extremely harsh and crude, 
and bring with them an inexpressible feeling of melancholy.^ 

^ The error appears to be on the part of Guevara. Reqneno has proved 
satisfactorily that the ancients did not use artificial colours on damp walls. See 
the note, pages 13 and 14, ante. — Ed. 

^ I have spoken of the paintings in fresco of Cincinato and Cambiaso in the 
Escurial as familiar examples. If we seek for examples at a distance from home, 
I do not know whether Raffaello da Urhino, Michael Angelo, and other artists 
of that period in Italy, prepared their walls and roofs in the manner now 
practised, and as Palomino describes, or whether they observed any other method 
more consonant with the doctrine of Vitruvius ; as some persons think. It is 
certain that the " Last Judgment'' above the altar in the Sistine Chapel in the 
Vatican, and the roof of that building, have been well preserved for about 300 
years ; and the same would have happened with the paintings of Raffaello, if it 
had not been for the continual copying, (tracing,) and handling of them sines 
they were painted, by which they have suffered, and suffer still in some parts : 
these injuries should be carefully repaired. The pictures of these artists are as 
highly finished as is necessary for the distance at which they are to be viewed. — 



The earliest writer after Hiny and Vitruvius who mentions painting 
on walls (for the appellation of fresco was not then applied to it), is 
Theophilus, the monk, the author of a treatise entitled, "Diversarum 
Artium Schedula," supposed to have heen written in the beginning 
of the thirteenth century. Very little is known of the author ; it 
however appears from his work, that he was extremely well versed 
in those branches of the arts of which he treats. The few directions 
he has left on this subject are merely as to the painting on walls 
and ceilings ; he does not allude to the preparation of the wall, 
further than to direct that it should be made quite wet before the 
painting is begun. 

He distinguishes between such colours as were proper to be used 
on walls, and such as were unfit for this purpose. In chapter 
XIV, he observes, " neither orpiment nor any colour with which it is 
mixed can be used on walls ;*' in another place, he says, " Let two 
lines be made of equal breadth, one of burnt ochre mixed with lime 
fcalcej, under vermilion on a wall ; but, on a ceiling, use vermilion 
itself mixed with chalk (creta)" 

The following are his directions for painting on a wall. He says, 
•• You should fill in the drapery with ochre, mixed with lime, to 
give it brilliancy, and make the shades in it either with pure burnt 
ochre, or with prasinus,^ or with posch,^ which must be made of 
the ochre itself mixed with green. The flesh colour*^ for walls 
must be made of ochre, and vermilion, and lime; and the posck, 
and rosa,^ and lumina,^ must be made as before. When figures, 

* This prasinus is a certain preparation having the appearance of green and 
black. It is prepared by being dissolved in water and strained through a cloth. 
It is considered useful as a green colour upon a fresh wall. — ^Theophilus, c. 2. 

^ Posch is the colour for the shades, made by adding prasinus and burnt ochre 
(rubrumj to the flesh colour. 
<^ Membrana. ^ Rose colour for lips and cheeks. 

* Lumina — flesh colour with white. 


or birds, or representations of other objects, are drawn on a 
dry wall, the wall must be immediately sprinkled with water until 
it is quite wet. And all the colours which are to be put on, 
must be mixed with lime, and laid on at one wetting, in order that 
they may dry along with the wall, and may adhere to it. Under 
ultramarine and green the colour called veneda, which is composed 
of black mixed with lime, must be put as a ground ; and upon this 
colour, when it is dry, must be laid, in the proper place, a thin coat of 
ultramarine, tempered with the yolk of an egg mixed with plenty of 
water : and after this a thicker coat must be laid, to make it look 
well. Green also must be mixed with succus * and black." — Chap. xv. 

From these distinctions it is evident that ceilings were painted in 
secco, and that paintings on walls were begun in fresco, and finished 
in distemper or secco. 

Theophilus concludes the sixteenth chapter in the following 
manner : — 

" All colours which are placed under others on a wall must be 
mixed with lime, to give them more firmness ; under ultramarine 
and menesch^ and green, veneda must be laid; under vermilion, burnt 
ochre ; under ochre and/o/tttm,*^ the same colours mixed with lime." 

The following summary of these instructions of Theophilus for 
painting on walls may not be uninteresting to the reader. It is 
copied from a MS. in the Biblioth^que Royal, at Paris, written 
by Jehan le Begue, " licentiatum in legibus, Anno Domini, 

" Pour peindre murs, mettez un po de chaux avec ocre pour avoir 
plus grant clarte, ou vous la mettez avec rouge simple, ou avec prasin, 
ou avec une couleur qui est nomm^ posce, qui est £aite de ocre vert 
et de membrayne, ou vous pouvez prandre dune couleur qui soit feite 
de synople et docre, et de chaux, et de posce, &c. ; et doivent estre 
murs paint plus moiste que autre chose, pour ceque les couletirs se 
tiennent mieulx ensembles, et soient plus fermes. £t doivent toutes 
couleurs pour murs estre melles avecques chaux vive." 

* A green colour prepared from vegetables. 

^ Menesch — ^The nature of this colour is not known. 

<^ A vegetable pigment from which three different colours were prepared. 



Lbon Batista Alberti appears, as Mr. Ekistlake observes in the First 
Report, the connecting link between ancient and revived art ; and 
D'Agincourt does not hesitate to attribute the Renaissance of archi- 
tecture, in a great measure, to his exertions, and those of his country- 
man and contemporary Brunelleschi, the constructor of the Duomo 
of Florence. He was eminent in all the arts, but attached himself 
principally to architecture, and applied himself with much assiduity 
to the study and explanation of the work of Vitruvius, the only one 
of the ancients whose express treatise on this subject has reached us. 
His principal work, De Re jEdificatorki, from which the following 
pages are extracted, was completed, and a manuscript copy presented 
to Pope Nicholas V. in 1452; and was printed at Florence, at the 
eafly period of 1485. It contains, observes D'Agincourt, all that 
could be known, at diat time, relative to the art ; and, if we confess 
the truth, almost all that has since been written in the best works 
on the same subject. 


Alberti treats concerning the coats of plaster which should be 
laid on walls, of the various kinds of intonachi, and how the mortar 
with which they are made is to be prepcured, of statues in basso- 
rilievo, and of the pictures with which the walls we adorned. 

He observes (Lib, vi. ch. 9.), " that in all plasterings three kinds, 
at least, of intonachi are required. The first is called tinzaffato, and 
its use is to adhere very closely to the wall, and to hold firmly the 
other two intonachi which are laid upon it. The use of the last 
intonaco is to receive the polish, and the colors, and lineaments, 
which make the work pleasing. The use of the middle intonaco, 
which is now called arricciato, is to obviate any defects both in the 
first and in the last intonaco. The defects are as follows : — ^if the 
two last coats, namely, the arricciato and the intonaco, are caustic. 


and, 80 to speak, astringent, as the rinzaffato ought to be, they will, 
on account of their crudity, show many cracks as they dry. And 
if the rinzaffato is mild, as the intonaco should be, it will not adhere 
sufficiently to the wall, but will fetU off in pieces. The more coats 
of it are given, the better will the surface receive the polish, and be 
enabled to withstand the effects of the weather. I have seen some 
of the more ancient specimens which had nine coats, one upon the 
other. It is necessary for the first of these to be rough, containing 
pit sand and pounded brick, the pieces of which should not be tod 
small, but as big as acorns, or in pieces the size of the finger, and 
sometimes the size of a palm. For the arricciato, river sand is best, 
being less liable to crack; this arricciato should also be rough, 
because, the coats which are to be laid on afterwards will not adhere 
to smooth surfaces. The last coat must be very white, like 
marble ; in fact, very white pounded stone should be used instead of 
sand, and it will be sufficient for this coat to be half a finger's breadth 
in thickness; because, if it is made too thick, it dries with difficulty. 
I have seen some persons, who, in order to save expense, do not 
make this coat thicker than the sole of a shoe. The arricciato 
must be mixed according as it is nearer to the first, or to the second 
coat. In the masses of stone, in stone-quarries, there are found 
certain veins, very much resembling transparent alabaster, which are 
neither marble nor gesso ; but of a certain middle nature, between 
the one and the other, and which are very apt to crumble. When 
these are pounded, and used instead of sand, they sparkle like 
shining marble. In many places are seen sharp points projecting 
from the wall, in order to hold the intonachi ; and time has shewn 
us that these are better made of bronze than of iron. I approve 
very much of those who, instead of nails, insert between the stones 
certain pieces of stone, or flints, so as to project; but, for this 
purpose, a wooden mallet must be used, and the fresher and rougher 
the wall is, the better it will hold the rinzaffato^ the arricciato, and 
the intonaco ; therefore, if, while building, and while the work is 
being done, you apply the rinzaffato, although thinly, you will cause 
the arricciato and the intonaco to adhere to it very strongly, — so as 
never to separate. You may carry on any of these processes during 
the prevalence of the south wind ; but if you apply the intonaco 
while the north wind blows, or during severe cold, or great heat, 
the intonaco will immediately become rough or uneven. 

" Finally ,-r-the last coats are of two sorts ; they are either plastered 


and spread upon the wall; or they are composed of materials 
joined and fitted on to it. Gesso and lime are spread upon it ; but 
gesso is not good, except in very dry places ; for the damp which 
passes down old waUs, is very injurious to every kind of coating. 
The coatings which are joined on to the walls, are stones, glasses, 
and such things. The coatings which are spread upon walls, 
are these :*~pure white, with figures of stucco, or paintings; but 
those which are joined on, are wainscoatings, panellings, and 
inlaid works* We shall now speak of the first sort, for which the 
mortar must be prepared as follows : — 

" Slake the lime with dear water in a covered trough, and with so 
much water that there may be a great excess above the lime ; then 
8tir it well with the spade, kneading and working it thoroughly ; and 
let it be thoroughly slaked and kneaded, which may be known by the 
spade not meeting with any lumps or clods. ^ The lime is not 
considered to be mature in less than three months. That which 
is good, must be very soft and viscid ; because, if the trowel put 
into it comes out dry, it proves that it has not had enough water 
to slake it completely* When you mix it with the sand, or with any 
powdered materials, work it again and again with great labor ; and 
continue to work it until it almost froths. The ancients were 
accustomed to pound in a mortar the materials they required for the 
intonachi; and they tempered the mixture so that it might not 
I adhere to the trowel when they were laying it on the wall. Upon 
the coat which has just been put on, and while it is still wet and 
soft, another coat must be laid, and care must be taken . that all 
these coatings may dry together, and at the same instant. They 

* To this we must add, that much water must not be added to the lime at once 
when slaking it ; but it must be quenched a little at a time, pouring water on it 
at intervals, until it is completely saturated ; then put it in a place rather damp 
than otherwise, and in the shade, without mixing anything with it ; for it should 
be preserved pure,— covering it only with a little sand, until, by length of time, 
\ it is become more liquid. And it has been found that, by this long maceration, 
the lime has acquired great virtue. I have actually seen some very ancient, 
and in considerable quantity, which had heen abandoned, — as we have good 
reason to suppose, — ^for more than 500 years; and, then being discovere^f 
it was found to be moist and liquid, and, as it were, so ripe, that in its con- 
sistence, it far surpassed honey and marrow. And there certainly is nothing 
that can be found more convenient for any purpose whatever than this. 
If you use it thus, it requires double the quantity of sand. L, B. Alberti^ 
Lib. II. c. xi. 


must be smoothed and made even with smoothing boards, float?, 
and other similar things while they are yet soft. If the last coat 
of pure white be well rubbed, it will shine like a looking glass ; and 
if, when the same is nearly dry, you anoint it with wax and mastic, 

r\ , liquified with a very little oil, and then heat the wall, so anointed, 

with a chafing dish of lighted charcoal, en* with an iron, so that 
it may soak up the ointment, it will surpass marble in whiteness. 

r>^ I have found by experience that such intonachi never cracked, if, in 

making them, the moment the little cracks beg^ to appear, they are 
rubbed down with bundles of twigs of the wild mallow, or of wild 
broom. But if, on any occasion, you have to apply an UUonaco 
in the dog days, or in very hot places, pound and cut up, very finely, 
some old rope, and mix it with the uUonaco. Besides this, it wiH 
be very delicately pofished if you throw on it a little white soap, 
dissolved in tepid water. If it is too greasy, it will become pole. 

" Small figures of stucco may be executed very expeditiously by 
casting from hollow moulds; and the hollow moulds may be 
obtained from rilievos, by pouring liquid gesso over them. When 
they are dry, if they are anointed with the composition which I have 
mentioned, they will have a surface like marble. These figurines 
are of two sorts, some in entire relief, and some in bas-relief : those 
in high relief do very well on a fiat wall ; but, on a vaulted roof, 
bas-reliefs are better, because those which are in high relief, on 
account, of their weight, being fixed obliquely, easily separate and 
fall down, and are likelv to fall on the heads of those that are 
beneath. Care must be taken not to put hollow ornaments, or 
omatnents in lugh relief, where there is much dust ; but let them 
be flat and in low relief, in order to clean them easily. The painted 
intonachi are sometimes executed in fresco, and sometimes in secco. 
For those which are done in fresco, all natural colours, which are 
obtained from the earth, or from mines, or from similar places, 
are proper ; but artificial colours, and particularly those which 
change when exposed to the fire, require very dry things, and dislike 
lime, moonshine, and the south wind. It has been recently dis- 
covered that all colours can be mixed with linseed oil, and will last 
for ever, provided that the wall, upon which they are put, be very dry 
and completely free from damp ; although I find that the ancient 
painters were accustomed, in painting the stems of their ships, to 
use liquid wax instead of glue. And, if I remember right, I have 


seen in the works of the ancients, that factitious gems,*^ fastened to 
the wall, with wax, or perhaps with white stucco, become so hard, in 
course of time, that they separated neither witii fire nor water. 
You would say that it was burnt glass ; and I have seen some who, 
with the Vhite flower of lime, have fastened colours, particularly 
vitrified colours, to the walls while still freah" 

* The words in the Itafian translation of Cosimo Bartoli, which I have used, 
are, ** colore di femme,*' by which I think he means the coloured pastes, of 
which artifiaal gems are made, like those described by Cennino (translation), 
p. 74, and by Cicognara. See note to Cennino, p. 149. 



The work of Cennino Cennini having been so recently published^* 
it is considered necessary only to refer to the leading practical 
points detailed in it. 

Cennino professes to teach the art of fresco painting, as it was 
practised by Giotto, and by Taddeo Gaddi, his godson and favorite 
pupil, and by Agnolo, the son of Taddeo, and master of Cennini. 
He commences by directing the preparation of the mortar, which is 
to consist of two parts of sand, and one of lime, if the lime be rich 
and fresh; the Hme and sand are to be thoroughly mixed with 
water, until the lime is quite slaked, for if any heat be left in the 
hme, it will cause the plaster to crack. 

The wall on which the painting is to be executed, is to be first 
swept, then made very wet, after which the mortar is to be spread 
over it, and the surface made quite level, although rough. Thb 
coat of mortar is generally called the arricciato ; Cennino apphes the 
term intonaco, both to this sand coat and the fine coat of lime on 
which the painting is executed. 

When the surface of the wall is dry, the design is to be drawn 
upon it with charcoal. It does not appear that the artists of this 
period used cartoons, but we collect from the text of Cennino, and 
from certain expressions of Vasari, in the life of Simone Memmi, 
that they made small drawings, which they copied on an enlarged 
scale, on the walls, by means of proportional squares, technically 
called rete and graticola. The outHnes are then to be fixed by 
marking them over with a pencil, dipped in ochre. The most 
singular part of the process is, that the whole wall, including the 
drawing, was then to be covered over with a thin intonaco. The 

* A Treatise on Painting, by Cennino Cennini, translated by Mrs. Merrifield. 
— LuMLBT, 56, Chancery Lane, London, 1844. 


descriptions by Morrona, of the ancient frescoes in the Campo Santo, 
at Pisa, noticed hereafter, as well as the remarks of Vasari and 
Lanzi, leave no room to doubt that the outline was actually covered 
with the hUonaco. Such a portion of the picture as the painter 
considered he could paint in one day, (which Cennino gives us to 
understand, was a head only,) was then to be covered with the 
intonaco, the wall having been previously wetted, and the surface 
smoothed with a slip of wood. A colour called Verdaccio, was next 
to be made of ochre, white, and dnabrese (sinopia and white), with 
which the outlines of the features were to be drawn ; necessary 
corrections might then be made, by washing out any part of the 
drawing, with a large brush, dipped in water. The shades of the 
face were next to be put in with verde terra. Cennino then describes 
the manner in which contemporary artists painted flesh, after which 
he details the method practised by Giotto. The difference between 
these different methods, consisted in the use of many tints of flesh 
colour, (of which every shade was at once laid in its place), by the 
school of Giotto, whUe other artists applied a wash of flesh colour 
over the face, either before or after the shades were laid in. Cennino 
is very particular as to this point ; he, says, ** If you would have your 
work appear very brilliant, be careful to keep each tint of flesh 
colour in its place, and do not mix one with the other." He after- 
wards makes the same observations with regard to the shades in 

In painting draperies he used four shades of colour, each of which 
contained white. He then heightened the lights with pure white, and 
finished the darkest shades with the pure colour, without white. 
When the figures were finished, they were to be left for the lime and 
colours to dry thoroughly ; and if any drapery remained to be done, it 
might be finished, when dry, in secco. 

Cennino then gives directions for painting on walls, in secco, and 
begins by naming those colours which cannot be used in fresco: 
these are orpiment, cinabro, azzurro deUa magna, minio (red lead), 
biacca (white lead), verderame (verdigris), and lake. Those which 
may be used in fresco, are giallorino (Naples yellow), bianco 
sangiovanni, black, ochre, cinabrese, sinopia, verde terra, and 
amatito ; these are to be made lighter by the addition of the white, 
(bianco sangiovanni). He then describes two kinds of temperas or 
vehicles,, with which the colours for finishing the draperies are 
mixed : the first consists of the white and yolk of an egg, into 


which are put some cuttings from the tender branches of a fig tree, 
to which a moderate quantity of water is added, and the whole is 
well beaten together ; Cennino adds, " if too much of the tempera is 
put to the colours, they will crack." The second tempera consists of 
the 3'olk of the egg only ; " this tempera," he says, " is of universal 
application, and you cannot use too much of it." Directions for 
painting various coloured draperies in fresco and secco, then follow ; 
and he concludes by teaching how to colour mountains, trees, 
plants, and buildings. We must not omit to mention a remark of 
Cennino's, which conveys mirch information relative to the practice 
of painting on walls at that period : " Remember, that everything 
you paint in fresco, must be finished and re-touched in secco, with 

Another point, worthy the attention of the novice in fresco painting, 
is, that after having dipped the brush in the liquid colours, it should 
be squeezed between the thumb and finger of the left hand, before 
beginning to paint. — See pages 42 and 43. 

It seems that in painting blue draperies, it was the practice of 
the school of Giotto, as well as in that of Sienna, to mark out the 
large folds with a needle or bodkin of iron. (Cenn. lxxxiii. p. 52,) 
and to make the light on the knees and other parts, by scratching 
ofiF the colour with the handle of the brush. The darkest parts were 
shaded with lake and black, and finished with the iron point. 



Giorgio Vasari, of Arezzo, was descended from a family friendly 
to the arts ; he was the grand nephew of Lazzaro, and nephew of 
another Giorgio Vasari, who was skilful in making terra cotta vases, 
after the manner of the ancients. Michael Angelo, Andrea del 
Sarto, and others, instructed him in design, and II Rosso taught him 
painting. But his principal school was Rome, where he accom- 
panied the Cardinal Ippolito de Medici, hy whose family he was 
loaded with riches and honors. After having studied the works of 
Michael Angelo and Rafiaello, he formed a style of his own, in 
which, however, his partiality for the former was perceptible. 
Having become a skilful painter of figures, he studied architecture, 
and became one of the most distingidshed architects of his time. 
He was capable of directing alone the architectural works of a large 
building, and also of disposing properly the decorative parts, such 
as figures, ornaments in relief* grotesques, landscapes, gildings, &c. 
He thus attained reputation in Italy, and was employed to paint 
in various places in Rome itself, and afterwards in Naples, Ravenna, 
Perugia, Venice, Pisa, Florence, &c. He was afterwards invited by 
Cosmo I. to his court, where, among the great works that he 
conducted, must be mentioned the Uffizi, and the paintings by 
Vasari and his pupils, in the apartments of the Palazzo Vecchio. 
He died in 1574. 

The following directions and observations of Vasari are taken 
from his " Introduction to the Three Arts of Design,*' prefixed to 
his great work, " The Lives of the Painters.'* 


DRAWINGS. — ^We give the name of sketches, (he observes), to 
those first rough drawings, which we make in order to decide on 


proper attitudes^ and to form the composition of the picture. 
These are executed in a very slight manner, and only just marked 
here and there to give us an idea of the whole picture, and are 
called sketches; because, owing to the haste of the artist to 
embody his thoughts, they are drawn very quickly with the pen, 
with charcoal, or any other drawing material, merely to express 
the ideas of the painter. 

From these are afterwards formed drawings, which must be done 
with great neatness of form, and with as much care as possible ; 
and the various parts must be drawn from nature, unless the artist 
is conscious that he is sufficiently skUfol to complete the drawing 
without a model. Afterwards, by measuring them with the com-^ 
passes, or with the eye, the lines of the small drawings must be 
enlarged, according to the intended size. Drawings are executed 
in various ways, that is, either with lapis rosso, which is a stone that 
comes from the mountains of Grermany, and which, being soft, can 
easily be sawn and reduced into fine points for marking paper, just 
as you like ; or with the (pietra nera) black stone, which comes from 
the mountains of France, which is like the red. Others are made 
in Chiaro-scuro on tinted paper, which paper serves for the middle 
tints, and the pen marks the lines, that is, the outline or profile ; 
and, afterwards, the ink, with a little water, makes a soft tint, which 
glazes and shades it. The lights are then put on the drawing with 
a fine pencil dipped in white lead tempered with gum. And this 
method has an excellent efiect, and shews better the arrangement 
of the colouring. Many persons draw with the pen alone> leaving 
the paper for the lights, which is difficult, but very masterly. 
There are many other methods of drawing, which it is not necessary 
for us to mention ; because they all represent one and the same 
thing, namely, the design. 

The designs being thus made, whoever wishes to paint in fresco, 
that is, on a wall, must first make the cartoons, and It is customary 
with some persons, to make cartoons even for painting pictures. 
The cartoons are thus made. Square sheets of paper are pasted 
together, with paste, made by boiling flour and water over the fire, 
and are fastened to the wall by pasting the edges of them for 
about two fingers in breadth on the side next the wall, with the 
same paste. They are then wetted by sprinkling fresh water all 
over them, and then are stretched, while soft, in order that, in drying, 
the wrinkles may be pulled out« Afterwards, when they are dry, a 



long cane * is taken with a piece of charcoal fixed at the end of it, 
and with this, everything that is drawn in the small desi^ is repro- 
duced on the cartoon, in the same proportion, in order to judge of 
the effect at a distance ; and so hy degrees, first one figure is 
finished and then another. Here the painter employs all his skill 
in the art, in drawing naked figures from the life, and draperies 
from nature, and the perspective is drawn hy all those rules, which 
have been observed in drawing the design on a small scale, observing 
to enlarge them in proportion to the size of the cartoon. And if 
there are perspective representations or buildings in the drawing, 
they are enlarged by means of the rete, which is a grating of small 
squares, enlarged upon the cartoon, by which everything may be 
copied exactly. Because, the artist having drawn the perspective 
as ascertained by the .plan, -elevation, and section, and made the 
lines diminish towards and vanish in a point, in the small design, 
must repeat them, in proper proportion, on the cartoon. As for the 
manner of drawing the perspective, which is tedious and difficult to 
explain, I will not say anything more about it. It is sufficient to 
observe, that the perspective is beautiful in proportion as it appears 
true, and vanishes from the eye in the distance, and when it is 
composed of a varied and beautiful arrangement of buildings. It 
is also necessary for the painter to be careful to diminish the force 
of the colours proportionably to the increase of distance, and this 
depends on the discretion and good judgment of the artist. The 
reason for this is the difficulty caused by the confusion of lines 
obtained from the plan, elevation, and section, and which, by colour- 
ing them, is rendered very easy, and the due observance of this 
art (aerial perspective), causes the artist to be considered as learned 
and skilful in his profession. Many masters also are accustomed, 
before they draw the picture on the cartoon, to make a clay model 
on a flab surface, making all the figures round, in order to see the 
play of the hght, that is to say, the shadows which a light produces 

*■ The use of brushes with long handles has the sanction of many of the best 
masters. Velasquez was accustomed to use brushes, four or five feet long, and 
he placed his canvass nearly the same distance from him as the person whose 
likeness he was painting. Gainsborough also adopted the same plan, and it is 
quite apparent, no practice can be better adapted than this for giving freedom of 
hand, and avoiding the extreme minuteness of detail, observable in the works of 
the early painters, who worked with short handles to their brushes, and finished 
their large pictures with hatchings like a miniature. 


on the pictures. The siinshine is generally used for producing these 
shadows, as it marks the shadow of the figure on the ground with 
harder outlines than an artificial light would produce, and drawing 
the whole of their picture from this, they make the shadows which 
one fig^e throws upon another, and so the cartoons and the picture, 
owing to the trouble which is taken in order to give greater per- 
fection and force, are better finished, and have such relief as to 
appear as if starting from the picture ; and this causes the work to 
appear finer, and more highly finished. When these cartoons are 
used for painting in fresco or upon walls, a piece must be cut off 
every day at the joining, and traced upon the wall, which should be 
plastered over with lime, and made very smooth. This piece of the 
cartoon is put in the place where the figure is to be painted, and is. 
countersigned in order that, the next day, when another piece is to 
be joined on to it, its place may be known exactly, and no error 
may arise. The outlines of this piece are then traced with an iron 
stile on to the intonaco of lime, which, being wet, yields to the 
paper and thus receives the marks. After this, the cartoon is taken 
off, and the colours are laid on according to those lines which are 
traced upon the wall, and the painting in fresco or on walls is execu^ 
ted. For paintings on canvass the same sort of tracing is used, 
except, that the cartoon is all in one piece, and that it is necessary 
to cover over the back of the cartoon with charcoal or black powder^ 
in order that afterwards, when it is marked over with the iron stile, 
it may be drawn or traced on the canvass or panel. And the rea- 
son of dividing the cartoons into compartments is, that the work 
may be true and in the proper proportion. There are many painters 
who do not use cartoons for oil pictures, but when painting in fresco 
they cannot be dispensed with. 

The author of this invention had certainly a very happy idea, con^ 
sidering that, in the cartoons, we can see the effect of the whole 
painting, and that they may be corrected and drawn upon until they 
are approved of, which cannot be done afterwards to the picture 

Of painting on walls, and why it is called frbsco-paint- 
iNG. — Of every kind of painting practised by artists, painting on 
walls is the finest and most masterly, because it consists in doing in 
one day only, that which in other methods can only be accomplished 
in many. Fresco painting was much in use among the ancients, and 

VA8ARI. 31 

the older modem painters have also continued to employ it. The 
picture must be painted on the lime while it is wet, and the work 
must not be left until all that is intended to be done that day is 
finished. Because if the painting be long in hand, a certain thin 
crust forms on the lime as well from the heat as from the cold, the 
wind and the frost, which tarnishes and spots all the picture. And 
therefore the wall which is painted on must be continually wetted ; 
and the colours employed upon it must be all earths, and not mine- 
rals, and the white must be calcined Travertine. This kind of 
painting also requires a firm and quick hand, but above all a good and 
sound judgment ; because, while the wall is soft, the colours appear 
quite different from what they do when the wall is dry. It is there- 
fore necessary for the artist, while painting in fresco, to use his 
judgment mor6 than his skill, and to be guided by experience, it bemg 
very difficult to paint in fresco well. Many of our artists are very 
expert in other branches of the art, namely, in oil and distemper paint • 
ing, but do not succeed in this, because it is indeed the most manly, 
the most certain, and the most durable of all methods, and by age 
it continually acquires beauty and harmony in an infinitely greater 
degree than any of the others. This kind of painting cleans itself in 
the air, is proof against water, and always resists any blow. But it 
is necessary to take care not to retouch the painting with parchment 
glue, yolk of egg, gum, or gum tragacanth, as many painters do ; 
because, while the painting fedls to acquire its usual brightness, the 
colours become tarnished by this, and, in a short space of time, turn 
black. And therefore let all those who wish to paint upon walls, 
paint in fresco, like men, without retouching in secco; which, besides 
being a most vile practice, shortens the duration of the pictures, as 
has been alreadv observed elsewhere. 

Of painting on walls in Chiaro-scuro with various kinds 
OF clat; and how bronzb is imitated; and of pictures in 
CLAT OR IN BARTH (Tbrrbtta). — Paiutcrs Call Chiaro-scuro a kind 
of painting which depends more on design than on colouring, because 
it had its origin in the imitation of statues of marble, and of figures 
of bronze and various other stones. This is usually employed in 
painting historical pictures on the fronts of palaces or houses, so 
as to imitate and appear like marble or stone, sculptured into 
these shapes, or really imitating some sorts and kinds of marble an 
porphyry, and of green stone, and of red and grey granite, or o 


bronze or other stones, as they think proper ; they divide the front 
of the house into many compartments, in this style of decoration, 
which is very much in use for painting the fronts of houses and 
palaces, as well in Rome as throughout all Italy. These pictures are 
painted in two manners, either in fresco, which is the real method, or 
on canvass, for the triumphal arches which are made for the entry of 
princes into cities, and in triumphs, or in the decorations ioxf^tes and 
comedies, because they produce a beautiful effect. We will first 
treat of the different kinds and methods of painting them in fresco. 
For painting with this Terretta, the grounds are made of potter's 
clay ; the darker shades are made by mixing the clay with pounded 
charcoal, or any other black, and with calcined Travertine for the 
light tints. The lights must be laid on with pure white, and the 
extreme shades must be finished with pure black. Pictures of this 
kind should be executed with design, force, vivacity and skill « 
and should be expressed with boldness, which shews art and 
freedom of hand, because they must be seen and looked at from a 
distance. Bronze figures are also imitated in this way ; they are 
sketched on a ground of yellow ochre and red, the shades are made 
of black, red, and yellow ; the half tints are made with pure yellow, 
and the lights of yellow and white. Artists also pednt house fronts 
and pictures in this way, with certain statues interspersed between 
them, which have a veiy graceful effect. 




Although the work of Borghini, entitled " II Riposo," published for 
the first time in 1584, has gone through three editions, little is known 
respecting the history of his life, except that his mother, as he himself 
mentions in the Riposo, page 399, was the daughter of Ridolfo 
Ghirlandaio, after whom he was also called Ridolfo. In the preface 
to the second edition, it is stated, that he understood thoroughly, 
not only the principles of the arts of painting and sculpture, but 
also all the arts connected with them. He was personally acquainted 
with the eminent punters and sculptors of his time, and his work 
contains many of their vivd voce precepts. Borghini has borrowed 
many of the recipes contained in the second book of the Riposo from 
Cennino's treatise, without, however, acknowledging the obhgation. 
Bossi, in his work on the Cenacolo of Leonardo da Vinci, says, the 
Riposo of Borghini is more valuable for the style than the precepts. 


Whoever wishes to paint in fresco, must first lay an intonaco over so 
much of the wall as is sufficient for one day's work ; because if the 
colours are not laid upon the lime, while it is fresh, it makes a kind of 
crust, owing to the heat, or the cold, and the wind, which dulls and 
spots all the work. It is therefore useful to wet the wall very frequently. 
Having put on the intonaco, which should have its whiteness lowered 
by means of sand, and a Httle black, so that it may appear of a neutral 
tint, the cartoon, or a piece of the cartoon, must then be appUed to 
it. The piece of the cartoon must be marked in order to know which 
piece comes next to it; then, with a stile of iron, or ivory, or of any 
hard wood, trace upon it the marks and outHnes of the cartoon, and the 



lime, being damp, will yield to the tracing, and receive all the marks. 
Then, taking away the cartoon, we must paint upon these with 
earthy, but not mineral colours, mixed with clear water ; and the 
white should be calcined Travertine. This kind of painting 
requires great judgment; because, while the wall is wet, the colours 
produce a diflPerent eflPect from what they do when it is dry. We 
must, above all things, abstain from retouching any thing with 
colours containing parchment-glue, yolk of egg, gum, or gum Tra- 
gacanth (Dragante), because, then the painting loses its brightness, 
and the colours become tarnished, and, in a very short space of time, 
turn black. Therefore, whoever paints in fresco, should, each 
day, completely finish his day's work, without having to retouch it 
in secco; because thus his pictures will be of longer duration, and he 
will be considered a better master. Fainting in tempera can be done 
upon a dry wall, upon panel, and upon canvass. To paint upon a 
dry wall, the wall must be rasped, and two coats of hot glue laid 
over it ; afterwards the tempera must be made in this manner : — 
The yolk of an egg is taken and beaten up well, and a tender fig 
branch is ground up in it, and with this material, colours of all kinds 
are tempered, because all are good for this kind of painting, except 
the white made from lime, which is too caustic (forte) ; and the 
blues, which would turn green with the above mentioned tempera on 
account of the yolk of the egg. They must therefore be mixed with 
a vehicle of gum or of size from parchment clippings ; this kind of 
size may also be used for all the colours, as it is now the custom to 
do in Flanders, whence we receive so many beautiful pictures of 
landscapes, painted with this vehicle. 




Giovanni Batista Armenino was bom in Faenza, about 1530. He 
was destined for the medical profession. He was sent to a public 
school, where he was taught Latin and Greek. While pursuing his 
studies. Figurino da Faenza (who had been assisting GiuHo Romano 
at Mantua), returned to his native country, and the young Armenino, 
captivated by seeing him work, and hearing his encomiums on the 
art, was immediately siezed with the wish to study painting. It is 
not known whether he received lessons from Figurino, but when he 
went to Rome, in 1550, he already drew well and rapidly. At Rome 
he studied the works of Polidoro da Caravaggio, and the antique, and 
being seen by two French students of sculpture, copying a frieze of 
Polidoro's, they took him into their house, in order to make drawings 
for them. He studied and copied the Last Judgment, of Michael 
Angelo, in company with Michael Angelo da Norcia and Barto- 
lommeo di Arezzo,* with the latter of whom he studied anatomy. 
He remained in Rome seven years, continually copying the antique 
and the best pictures. After leaving Rome he went to Milan, where 
he assisted Bernardino Campi, with whom he remained some months. 
He afterwards visited Mantua, Parma, Piacenza, Florence, Genoa, 
Venice, Ferrara, Ravenna, Pesaro, &c. After travelling over Italy, 
for nine years, and examining all the best works of art, he changed 
his profession and his dress, and became a friar and a, priest. 
Although he abandoned the practice of the art, he was still useful to 
those who exercised it, by collecting, in a single volume, all the^o^ost 
important precepts of the art, which he had observed in his travels, 
or which had been communicated to him by skilful masters. From 
the period of his becoming a priest, nothing more is known of him, 
except that it is supposed he was living in 1587, when his " Golden 

* Probably Bartolommeo Torre, who fell a victim to a contagious disease, 
caught in the pursuit of his anatomical studies at the age of 25. Ticozzi, 



Treatise," (as Sig. Tlcozzi styles it), " De VeriPrecetti della Pittura/" 
was published. — Abridged from TicozzTs Introduction to the " Veri 


0/ the great importance of making the Cartoons properly. — Of the 
use and effects of the Cartoons, — In what manner and with what 
material they are made, — Which are the most expeditious and easy 
ways of making them, — How they are traced and pounced on to 
the work without being damaged; and how they are imitated in the 
picture,— From Book II. Chap. VI. of the " Veri Precetti delta 

Of thb USB AND BFFBCT OF CARTOONS. — ^We have now to treat 
of cartoons, which among as are considered as the most perfect 
mode in which, by our skill in design, we are able to express the 
whole force of the art, and which, to those who set about them in a 
proper maimer, and with diligence, and who are carefal and 
industrious in finishing them, are so useful for the works which they 
have to execute, that what afterwards remains to be done, appears 
to give but little trouble. For the sketches, designs, natural models, 
and in short, all the other labours which the artist had previously 
undergone, were for the sole use and purpose of uniting them 
properly together on the surface of the cartoon ; and to speak the 
truth, in order to reprove those who care little to do this, or who, 
if they do set about it, do it carelessly; for in a well-finished 
cartoon, it will be observed, that even the most difficult part of 
every object is pourtrayed, so that by following the outlines, we work 
without any chance of error, by means of a perfect example and 
model of all that we intend to do ; in fact we may call it the work 
itself, except for the tints ; and hence we see that Michael Angelo, 
Leonardo da Vinci, Ra£[aello, Perino,* Daniello,^ and other excellent 

* Ferino del Vaga, (Pierino Buonaoorsi)) was considered by Yasari the first 
of the Florentine School, after Michael Angelo, in design, and the best of those 
who assisted Raffaello. He died in 1547. Lanzi, Vol 1. p. 142. Vol. II. p. 
76, 87, 257. Vol. V. p. 243. FMari.— Ed. 

b Daniele di Yolterra (Bicdarelli) imitated Michael Angelo, by whom it 
is said he was sometimes assisted in his designs. See Lanzi. Vol. I. p. 124, 
286. Vol. II. p. 88. He died in 1566.~Ed. 


painters, always prepared the cartoon with the greatest care and 

Of making cartoons, and thb materials usbd. — ^The usual 
manner of making cartoons is, first, to measure the height and 
breadth of the place where the work is to be made, and then to take 
paper of the same size, which is made by pasting sheets together 
with flour paste, until the cartoon is of the same size as the before 
mentioned place ; when it is dry, paste should be spread all round it 
to the breadth of about an inch : it must next be fastened to the 
smooth wall, and then sprinkling water over it, and pulling and 
stretching it all round, care must be taken that, as it dries, it may 
remain smooth and well stretched. It must then be measured out, 
and divided by faint lines, into the same number of squares, as the 
small design which is to be imitated ; and then, alljthat is contained 
in the first design must be copied with great care and skill, until 
every thing is drawn in its proper place.* 

persons who say, that it is a bad plan to use these squares,^ and allege 
firivolous reasons in support of their assertion ; for example, that a 
great deal of the first design is lost, which it is impossible to enlarge 
properly otherwise than by the eye. Now the eye seems to me to 
have but little to do with it, for, be a man ever so much accustomed 
to drawing on a large scale, he cannot deny, that when a design is 
intended to be copied from a piece of paper, which is generally made 
about the size of the hand, or a little larger, on to a picture 
of the size of ten or twenty feet, that it is much easier to do it with 
the squares than without them ; besides which, there is the ground 
plan, the perspective, and the buildings, which in the small design 
are drawn by measure, and require merely to be copied off and 
enlarged in the same proportion, almost without trouble. What is 
the use, therefore, of making any difficulty about this, when, by doing 
it, we have all the outlines determined ? And I say this, not only 
with regard to the things I have already mentioned, but also relative 
to the position of the most minute details, being certain at the same 

* For the modem method of making the cartoon, see I. Rep. p. 22, 25. — Ed. 
^ The technical word for the process of enlarging by squares is graticolare. 
See Pozzo's Treatise. — Ed. 


time of not falling into any very great mistake, nor even into a 
confusion of lines. So that it is quite clear, that hy this means, we 
avoid making a great numher of lines, which are frequently drawn hy 
way of trial, before we make the right one ; and however expert a 
person may be in design, he cannot help committing such errors, for 
it is impossible to do otherwise. 

But it is necessary, at the same time, to caution persons not to 
trust too much to these first lines, nor, while placing them on the 
cartoons, by means of these squares, to throw aside their judgment, 
which enables them to correct many of these lines in the small 
design, and copy them afresh in their proper places, or wherever 
they may seem needful. This is rendered evident by the feet, that 
great errors may be concealed in small drawings, while in those on 
a large scale, every slight error is detected ; so that a thorough 
examination is necessary, to change false outlines and to make good 
ones, without having any regard to the limits given by the squares. 
And these are the methods which I have frequently observed and 
considered, in the designs and cartoons of Rafikello, of Perino, of 
Giulio,' of Daniele, and of Taddeo Zuccaro,^ and of other good 
painters who are still hving, and who idl affirm the truth of what I 
have said. 

Of the different modes of preparation. — But to return to the 
cartoons. These are made in various manners and with various 
materials, as I have already shewn with regard to the small designs, 
and although there are but few in water colom*s, there are some very 
highly finished in other modes. Those who prepare them upon 
white paper, after having made the outUnes in the above mentioned 
manner, in order to shorten the trouble of shading, should rub lightly 
on the parts to be shaded with a rag full either of pounded charcoal 
or black lead ^ in powder, and the darker shades should be pounced 

" Ghilio Romano, the greatest of all the pupils of Rafiaello, whose heir he was, 
conjointly with Gio. Francesco Penni : Giulio's principal works are in fresco. 
He painted the palace at Mantua and the Palazzo del Te. Lanzi says, that the 
beautiful paintings of the story of Psyche, have been painted over by a modem 
hand. He died in 1546. Vasari and Lanzi, Vol. II. p. 74 , 75, 87. Vol. IV. p. 12.— Ed. 

^ Taddeo Zuccaro, was of the Roman school, and an imitator of Raffaello. 
He was born in 1529, and died in 1566. See Lanzi, VoL U. p. 87, 89, 92. 
Vasari. — Ed. 

*^ Lapis nero. — Ed. 


and beaten again over the first, and this should be continued until 
more than half appears shaded. The shades should then be 
lightly hatched, either with charcoal, or a black lead crayon cut to a 
point, and these hatchings should be continued as far as the extreme 
edges, and this part of the drawing should be executed with that 
dexterity and care, which is always practised by clever and skilful 
artists, so that, by the cartoons, their expertness in drawing will be 
proved. But besides the sketch, which during this time has been 
held in the hand as a model, further study is required before it is 
finished, for all this process must be recommenced from the beginning, 
in Older to obtain greater correctness, by copying from the life and 
from models, with the assistance of mechanical skill in drawing, as 
has been before stated ; and, when finished, these drawings appear 
so forcible, and, with such relief, that they seem ready to start from 
the paper, which proves that these last means are well adapted to 
give such perfection in drawing, as every person, according to his 
industry and knowledge, desires to attain. 

We should proceed in the same manner with cartoons which are 
made upon tinted paper, which, with less trouble, are much better than 
making many hatchings, and rubbing them with the fingers or with 
pieces of wool oz tow, as many persons are accustomed to do before 
finishing them. The cartoon must now be finished by laying on the 
lights, which we most set about with great judgment and caution, in 
order that the highest lights may be placed so as best to imitate the 
object. There are some who, for the Ughts, take fine fresh gesso, 
with an equal quantity of Biacca,'' and mix them together, and make 
crayons of them ; and, with this material, the lights are very bright. 
Others again use only tailor's gesso,^ and others again mix Biacca 
also with this in the higher lights; and in these ways all great 
designs are finished. 

Now, to preserve the cartoons uninjured, as the outlines must 
next be traced from these on to the works which are in hand, the 
best way is to prick them with a needle, putting another paper imder 
them which is pricked as well as the upper one. This last paper 

• Ge990 — ^g^psum, plaster of Paris. — Ed. 

«» Biaeca—WUte lead.— Ed. 

*^ Gesso da SarH, — A fine sort of gesso in lumps (query white chalk), so called 
becaase it is used by tailors for drawing or marking out their patterns on the 
doth. See Bald. Voc. 2>w.— Ed. 



serves for pouncing the outlines on what is to be the ground of the 
picture, and particularly upon lime, although many persons, caring 
little about the preservation of their cartoon, trace directly from it ; 
but the first cartoon should always be kept as a model, while paintin g 
the coloured picture. The first method is more convenient. 

I think I have now treated at sufficient length, and with great 
clearuess and brevity, of all those modes of drawing, of which I had 
promised to speak, as being the most necessary and easy, for the 
assistance of those who wbh to attain CAcellence quickly, having 
told them every convenient remedy for those things which are either 
uncertain or difficult. We have now, therefore, to take the same 
course in treating of colours, which is indeed a very laborious and 
difficult part, and the most necessary part of the work ; but I hope 
in a similar manner to make it clearly and easily understood. We 
will treat first of the composition of the colours, then oi the manner 
of using, mixing, and uniting them together, so that they may re- 
main bright and clear ; the whole being the result oi practice and 
experience, which we have both seen, and been taught by the best 
and most skilful artists who have preceded us. 

Of the different kinds and sorts of colours, and of their particfdar 
natures ; how they are prepared in different ways to produce a better 
effect in the work; with what and how many liquids they are used; 
how the colours are made to obtain any tint that may be wished, and 
especially flesh colours, with their various tints according to the 
complexions of the persons, and how they ought to appear when finished, 
— From Book II. Chap. VII. of Armenino, 

Op thb colours proper to be usbd. — I believe it is known, even 
to the most indifferent painters, that all the colours which are used 
in painting, must be of two sorts, namely, natural, which are also 
called mineral, and artificial. These are commonly niixed for working 
with three liquids, wl^iich are water, glue and oil ^ the first is called 


and the third painting in oil. But it is well known, that artificial 
colours never do well in fresco, nor can any art make them last long 


without changing, and particularly in the open air ; and this because 
they require a very dry situation, and a very dry ground for the 
picture ; but we shall treat of the qualities of each more clearly in their 
proper places. Now, be it known, that all colours, unless flat tints of 
them are to be laid, are mixed in various modes, because some of 
them are made light and some dark, so that from one single colour 
are made different colours of the same kind, according as white or 
black is mixed with them all. But as this depends entirely upon 
the skill of the artist ; so the errors arising from it, are caused either 
by the colours being badly mixed and badly united, or by the hand 
of the artist not being firm or practised in managing and harmonizing 
them, so that they may remain pure, clean, and properly united 
together : for which reasons I shall [always exhort young men, to 
practise these things continually, in order to gain experience, and 
know their effects, that they may afterwards carry them out in prac- 
tice with confidence. For as one of the principal intentions of the 
poet, is to give delight by continually diversifying his poem with 
various episodes, so in painting, the same variety should be sought 
by different and gay colours. Although the subject and the compo- 
sition may be pleasing in themselves, yet, if the colouring, which is 
the manner of explaining them, is not agreeable to the eyes of the 
spectators, it will be impossible to produce a good efiect ; because, 
by colours well united and harmonized, is produced that beauty^ 
which catches the eyes of the ignorant, and enters imperceptibly into 
the minds of the wise. It will be seen, that true resemblance arises 
from the proper use of the colours, which, the more lively they are, 
the more they strike and please persons, and particularly the nobility, 
the greater number of whom use them for embellishing their houses. 
This shews that they are more affected by the pleasure which they 
receive from the variety and gayness of the colours, than by their 
admiration for the design of the picture ; thus pursuing rather the 
gratification of the eye, than the improvement of the mind, because 
a beautiful and harmonious variety of colour, produces the same 
effect on the eyes as is produced on the ears by harmonious music, 
when the bass notes correspond to the high notes, and the middle 
notes also sound in concord ; so that from this variety is made a 
sonorous and almost wonderful union of measures, which fills the 
mind with admiration. 

But the whole science of colouring may be reduced to this, that, 
when a picture is composed with regularity, of various sorts of colours. 



both mixed and pure, there will arise a weU devised and harmonious 
composition, no part of which, however insignificant it may be, 
will be discordant from the rest; and therefore the composition 
will not then be glaring and disagreeable, and appear like coloured 
tapestry, nor yet so much sobered down and shaded that the flesh is 
scarcely distinguishable from the other objects near it. The best 
plan will be to observe a medium between the glaring and the dull ; 
and to let the colours and mixtures be neither too bright nor too 
languid, but pure and clean, softly and dehcately united with each 
other, so as to produce a pure and exquisite beauty. We shall not 
stop to consider the nature of the colours one by one, nor give an 
account of the different sorts and quahties of them, because these are 
supposed to be known to every one, but we shall speak of some 
of their particular properties, and give other cautions concerning 
their effects, on account of some contrarieties among them which are 
not to be despised. 

Of the purity of colours and mode of preparation. — All 
the colours therefore, should, as much as possible, be used bright, 
pure, and fine ; and besides this, it is necessary to be very clean and 
careful about them, in order to preserve them pure and distinct, 
because, by every shght mixture that falls into them, and which 
generally consists of the dust of other colours, they become soiled, 
and lose a great part of their purity and brightness. There is also 
much practice and diligence required in applying them properly, but 
in using colours in fresco, we must remember that, as has been before 
remarked, the Wall will not take any other than the natural colours 
which are found in the ground, and which consist of earths of seve- 
ral colours, which, I think, must be well known, since they are 
common enough in all parts of Italy ; these are, for the most part* 
ground with pure water» excepting smalt and other similar blues. 
For the white which is used in fresco, they take, as is well knoVn, 
the powder of very white lime, such as that of Genoa, Milan, and 
Ravenna, which, before it is used, must be well purified, and this 
purification is performed in different ways by different painters; there 
are some who make it first boil well on the fire, keeping it clear from 
scum, which is done to get rid of the saline parts, and which prevents 
its settling and drying too fast when appUed to the wall ; they then 
let it cool in the open air, and pouring off the water from it, they 
put it in the sun on baked bricks and suffer it to dry upon them. The 



lighter it is, the better it is purified. There are some persons who 
bury it when they have thus purified it, and so keep it many years 
before they use it ; and others do the same in the open air upon the 
roof. There aie also some persons who add half the quantity of mar- 
ble dust, which they first pound very fine. It has also been observed, 
that if the white pigment be put in the open air, in a large vase, and 
boiled water be thrown into it, at the same time mixing it with a 
stick, the next day putting it in the sun, it will be sufficiently purified, 
and may be used the following day for mixtures with other colours, 
but not for colouring naked bodies. 

Of prbskrvino thb colours. — Having now prepared and ar- 
ranged the colours in the manner above-mentioned, and put them in 
their vases, in order to preserve them uninjured, we must next take 
shells or small vases, and begin to mix the tints. First put some 
white into three or four of these shells, and then put some black in 
just the same number of others^ but not in such great quantity ; then 
take the vase of pure colour, either yellow, red, blue, green, or 
whatever other colour is wanted, pouring it in, and mixing it 
with this white, which has been put into these shells or vases, so as 
to make at least three tints, one lighter than the other, by putting 
less of the pure colour into some than into others. The same colour 
must also be poured in a similar manner into the shells where the 
black, or any other dark colour is placed, observing the above direc- 
tions as to making them one darker than another ; so that, by these 
means, firom each pure colour, may be obt^ned four or six shades, 
and as many tints as may be wished, and these must correspond with 
the colours in the design or well finished cartoon. But with regard 
to the minute differences of the colours which nature presents to us, 
we shall not enter into any farther description of them, as their num- 
ber is infinite, which is rendered evident at once by considering the 
continual variation of colour in fruits and flowers ; and if we would 
imitate these colours, we must make a tint resembling the colour of 


Of thb mixture and application of colours.— But of all the 
usual mixtures for flesh, the lighter ones are always made of red 
earth (Terra RossaJ and white, and that they are made more or less 
dark in the same manner as other tints ; but these are not always 
the same, because, as regard must be had to the variation of the 




tints, which always change according to the various sexes, ages, and 
temperaments of the persons, when you wish to make them match 
^ the complexion; it is, generally speaking, necessary to a&d to the 
colour sometimes green, and sometimes yellow, and sometimes hoth 
together. The complexion of old men is generally difierent, so that 
instead of Terra Rossa they generally require humt yeUow earth 
(^Terra Gialla Ahhrucciata) , and it is hetter that you should hum it 
until you see it hecome of an uniform dark colour, before you take 
it off the coals, because it changes to a bright mulberry colour, and 
thus produces the same effect in fresco as the fine lakes do in oil 
and distemper painting ; and, therefore, when we compose the dark 
I colour for the shades in the flesh, we use this earth, which must be 

^ mixed with umber, so that the mixture of these two generally serves 

for all the shades. We then put a little of this into some clean shells, 
and make two other lighter shades, by pouring into them some 
'^ .^ of those light flesh coloured mi&tures which were before directed 
to be made ; and one is made darker than the other, that wje may 
; harmonize them together, by softening them into the lighter one. 
i Black also is frequently added to the above-mentioned shade 
colour, composed of the two earths ; and this is used when it is 
wished to give greater relief to the figure, or naked body, and 
to the extremities. 
) There are some persons, who mix with these shade colours, pure 

Terra Verde, and others bum this colour in the same manner as the 
yellow earth. There are others who mix with it Terra di Campane, 
and particularly when they wish to imitate the delicate shadows in 
young women, because in this manner they appear to agree very wdl 
together. But as there are some persons, who, in laying on the 
lights upon the more prominent parts of the flesh, foolishly use pure 
white in too great abundance, I would advise you to take the lightest 
flesh tint, and then mix white with it, and lay on the lights in but 
few places, and with judgment. There are moreover other reddish 
and bluish tints besides those in the face, which are easily obtained 
by mixing red or green with the lighter flesh tints ; other similar 
colour^ are made with the dark flesh tints. Having thus finished 
mixing the tints in a proper manner, and having arranged them in 
order upon a smooth board or plank, we must then take the brushes, 
which must be well made. Old brushes are better than new, and you 
must have one brush for each colour. 


Op prbparing thb walls. — ^When these things aie all finished, 
and the colonrs are all prepared, in the way J have mentioned, and 
every thing else done that may he necessary, we come to the fine 
tntonaco, which, when it is pat on the wall, serves as a ground to 
the colours, and generally causes the picture to produce a different 
effect from what the artbt who painted it expected; this is on 
account of the difference occasioned hy the drying of the colours, 
which is sometimes so great as to deceive even the most expert 
artists owing to their not heing well acquainted with the changes the 
materials undergo. It will therefore he proper to speak a little ahout 
it, and to give some general advice upon the subject, because very 
important works, in which an artist runs the risk of losing a great 
deal of his reputation and credit, if he onfortunately does not succeed, 
are generally painted in this manner. You must know, therefore, 
that all kinds of lime which are laid upon walls for painting on, have 
the property, if well wetted, of receiving all colours well during the 
whole of one day ; and the Hme remains for some hours very firm 
and in such a state, that during that time, those who are accustomed 
to it, and who understand it, work very easily and with' great plea- 
sure upon it. But afterwards, when it begins to lose its moisture 
and to set, it will be observed, that any colours then laid on will be 
of a different tint from those which were put on first, and thus the 
efi!ect of the picture wiU be spoiled. For this reason, expert artists, 
before this happens, cover all their work with a good body of colour 
diUgendy and quickly, and in a soft, light, and even manner ; because 
if they delay, the tntonaco acquires a thin crust when it touches the 
air, and thus makes the picture spotty and dull. Some information 
is necessary respecting the use of certain colours, such as smaUo and 
pavonazzo, which, being generally coarser and of less body than the 
others, the wetter the lime is, when they are applied, the better. In 
this kind of work, it is necessary to have the hand very firm, bold, 
and free,^-qualities, which result from a clear and sound judgment, 
that knows how much every individual tint can change, or lose of its 
brightness ; and not only how much each will change during that 
one day, but also until the intonaco is quite dry. 

Now the lime must be put upon the damp wall (which should have 
been well wetted) in such quantity, as will cover the space to be 
painted that day ; and having first drawn the squares, in the proper 
proportion, on the dry wall, we mtist again mark them upon the into- 
naco, making the lines agree exactly with those which are upon the 




wall undemeath. Then, taking the smaU design m our hand, we 
copy it carefully on the picture, with a paint hmsh dipped in 
some water colour, which should he of a reddish tint, because the 
marks of these tints can easily be removed at pleasure if they are not 
right ; for by dipping the same brush in water they can all be washed 
out. But if the cartoon be finished, it should either be traced, or 
pounced on the wall, in the manner before mentioned, and this plan 
you will certainly find more convenient. Having done this, the out- 
lines must be marked over ¥dth a brush, and, if necessary, corrected. 
We must then take the colours, sketching out and covering every- 
thing, taking care to put lights, shades, and middle tints in their 
proper places according to the sketch ; and this must be done in 
such a manner, that there may be an union and harmony of the 
colours, which must appear to the eyes, pleasing, bright, and united. 
Another coat of colour must then be laid evenly over the work while 
the intonaco is still wet. But although this intonaco absorbs, for the 
most part, the colours first laid on, it is necessary for the artist to 
work and unite them together by putting on another coat in this 
manner. There are some persons who think to avoid this, by first 
laying on one or two coats of white, and they say, that this method 
also makes the colours appear brighter when the intonaco is dry. 
This is sometimes true in painting grotesques and other similar 
things which are small and of no importance, but it is positively 
injurious in great historical pictures, because, although this white 
reflects the colours, it lb nevertheless very injurious to the darks, 
and destroys much of their harmony and force ; * e£fects which are 
very contrary to the intention of a good painter. 

As we are now speaking of the tints, I would not have any one 
think that because they happen to be well mixed in the gallipots, 
they must produce exactly the same effects on the wall, because this 
requires a familiarity with the colours found in nature. There are 
some artists, who, in order that they may not have to correct their 
painting on the wall, first imitate the colours correctly with crayons, 
and others with oil colours; because the colours are thinner in 
some kinds of painting than in others ; and there are reddish and 
greenish touches scattered over various parts, with which the 

* It will be observed, that Pacheco and Borghini recommend mixing a little 
colour with the intonaco. — Ed. 


before-mentioned tints may not exactly agree in colour, and there- 
fore there must prevail, as it were, a controlling harmony, which 
must be conceived in the mind of the artist ; and this is particularly 
necessary to be observed in flesh tints where large masses of naked 
bodies are introduced in pictures, in which the lights, and the 
brightness of the colours, should diminish with such skill and 
dexterity, as to appear to die away into the shade, and to lose their 
brilliancy by degrees, so that it may be seen that the light does not 
produce the colours, but only makes them visible, for where the 
least light comes, there the shadows are the deepest and the darkest. 
We must also observe, that the colour must not be changed, on 
account of the shadow, but that^we must retain the same colour, 
only making it deeper, because, as has been before observed, dark- 
ness is want of light, and not an effect of the colour black ; although 
it is true that draperies and many other things can be made to 
harmonize with the rest of the picture, and can be finished easily, by 
m^fns of well selected tints. 

/^utrwith regard to naked bodies, we have seen some painters of 
the present day, who had such skill in managing the colours, that 
with three mixtures alone, they have painted a naked body, having 
all the half-tints and gradations of colour, which are visible in the 
natural body. The tints are, one light tint and two dark ones. 
They lay on a great many shades with the lighter shade colour, 
and touch all the half-shades and dark shadows. They then take 
the light tint, with which they cover the whole of the lighter parts^ 
and go over the raw shades, which had previously been put on, even 
to the extremities, so that the half-tints appear very soft through 
this from underneath ; and those shades, which before, were too 
raw, being thus softened down, they pass over them again, with the 
above mentioned shade colour, in order to bring the shades, half- 
shades, and half-lights, to their right tone. They next take the 
other tint, which is the darkest shade tint, with which they give the 
figure relief in all its parts ; so that we may say, that these make 
their tints upon tlie waU, in the same way that others do. in their 
gallipots. Among those whom I knew, there was a certain 
Luchetto, of Genoa,* who, in my time, painted at S. Matteo, in the 
church which belonged to the Prince Doria, certain stories of this 
saint, in competition with a very good painter of Bergamo. I really 

* Luca or Luchetto CambiasOy born 1527, died about 1585. — Mariet, 



have Been wonderfiBl things by him, in that dty; he paints with 
both hands, holding a brash full of colour in each, and is so expert 
and dexterous, that he does his work with great quickness ; and I 
have seen more pictures in fresco by him, than by any ten others 
together. His figures are painted with wonderful force, besides which, 
there is that freedom, that grace and skill, which the greatest 
conceptions of men of genius rarely display, and which always 
require the greatest skill and labour. Giacomo Tintoretto,* the 
Venetian, paints in nearly the same manner, and there are some 
persons who consider him the most rapid painter, but he is inferior 
in design, and is less careful than Luca ; and, as his colouring Is 
softer, hb pictures have less relief and force. He has frequently 
painted very important pictures, without any design, leaving the 
sketches for finished pictures, and so roughly painted, that one may 
see the very marks of the brush, from his too great haste and im- 
petuosity. These pictures, therefore, will not bear very close 
inspection. But it is enough, that they astonish many of our artists 
at first sight; so that those men "^o used solid colour, by adopting 
this manner* and finishing their labours quickly, cause their pictures 
to remain very fresh, delicate, and gay ; and it makes no di£ferenoe 
to them, although it does to doubtful or irresolute persons, or bad 
painters, whether they put on the light colours before the dark, or 
the reds before the flesh tints. But the tints, and all the other 
colours, are laid on with the same paint brush which the artist 
happens to have in his hand, because, by washing it in water and 
squeezing it a little, it answers his purpose very well. 

Having now brought your picture into this state, it is nearly 
finished, because, when you begin to find that the lime is going to set, 
aud that it does not absorb the colour with the same force as before, 
you must then finish it off with moist and dark shade ti^ts, working 
it up in this way quite to the extremities. But the muscles of naked 
figures, as being of greater difficulty, are painted by hatching them 
in different directions with very liquid shade tints, so that they appear 
of a texture like granite; and there are very brilliant examples of this, 
painted by the hand of Michael Angelo, of DanieUo, and of Francesco 

* Giacomo Robosto, called XlTintoretto, bom at Venice in 1512, died in 1594. 
LanzL Vol. III. p. 116. &c.— -Ed. 


Salviati.* who are very celebrated for their works. The hghts must 
then be laid on, in the manner which we have akeady mentioned. 

Now this mode of painting soon betrays the ignorance of those 
who are bnt little accustomed to it, because, all that has been badly 
done, either through timidity, or by the ground being badly covered, 
or the work being badly finished, begins to shew itself the next day ; 
and it should be known, that when the wall and the picture are quite 
dry, every little defect will clearly appear, and such will be all 
retouchings, spots, and colours laid one over another, and badly 
covered over, or badly united together ; so that it is always well to 
work cautiously, in order not to fall into these great faults. Then, 
at the end of the day, when all the part that has been plastered is 
finished, the remainder is cut off carefully, on account of the rough 
edge, in order that, the next day, fresh intonaco may be joined on to 
it, without shewing the least mark of the joining, as piece is joined 
on to piece, while the work is going on. The boys will then take 
care to wash the brushes with dean water, and to arrange their 
points, and to repair them well : and they must do the same thing 
with the mixed tints, and the other colours, by pouring water into 
them all, and particularly into the white which has been purified, of 
which, as being the principal colour among them, greater care must 
be taken not to let it dry. Having thus put all the things into their 
proper places, the wall must be wetted again in the evening, and 
must be soaked several times against the next mormng, particularly 
when it is very hot weather, in order that the intonaco may be kept 
well wetted during the time you are at work, until all that you wish • 

to paint upon it is finished. j 

This is the method which is to be observed concerning painting ^ 

in fresco, and which, together with the above advice, should be, so \ 

to speak, the foundation of all the pictures you paint. And you may •^ 

leave to foolish painters those secrets of theirs, which no one envies 
them, of using vermilions and fine lakes ; because, although they 
make grounds for them, with various kinds of white, it is, neverthe- 
less, well known that, in the long run, their pictures become ugly 
daubs, because they employ these colours solely to attract the eyes 

• Francesco de Rossi, who assumed the name of his protectors, the Salviati, 
was the condisdple of Vasari, under Andrea del Sarto and under Baccio Bandi- 
nelli. He was an excellent sculptor, and a teacher of drawing to students in 
painting, an art which he cultivated for his amusement. See Lanzi, Vol. I. 
p. 167, 168. He was bom in 1510, and died in 1563. 


of the vulgar, at first sight, and we cannot consider those persons 
who have thus employed them, altogether blameless. 

To make pictures in Chiaro-scuro, the same means are used, as 
have been just mentioned ; for, having pounded the charcoal, and 
washed the white, of these two extremes, at least, three tints must 
be made, one lighter than the other ; and then, in order to judge of 
their effect, while they are being mixed, they must be tried on a 
brick which has been baked, but not wetted. Some persons mix 
potter's clay with them ; and there are others, who lay a coat of it 
underneath, for a ground, which answers the same purpose. 

A similar method is used for painting pictures to imitate bronze, 
using mixtures of these colours, namely, yellow earth fierra giaUaJ, 
and occheja * for the shadows, for which others mix umber (terra 
d'ombraj with it, and some add paonazzo, and others black. In 
short, any kind of picture can be painted well in this way. But we 
have said enough on this subject. 

Op retouching fresco paintings in secco. — But, to follow 
out our subject, as regards the manner of painting, this last 
harmonizing is considered to be, and really is, very difficult in fresco 
paintings, particularly in those which are not under cover. This 
arises from the effect of the hine on the colours, for as the lime dries 
very quickly, nothing can be done after the first day on which you 
paint upon it. For this reason, I approve of those painters who 
provide for this, by means of cartoons, which are well finished by 
their own hands, because, when the tints and the shades have been 
put in their proper places at first, the finishing touches are then 
given with the delicate and liquid shades. 

But as for those which are in covered places, they can be perfectly 
harmonized by retouching them in secco, because, when the first 
colours have been painted in solidly, while the hme is very wet, 
afterwards, when it is dry, it can be brought to whatever degree of 
perfection is thought proper, with the finest colours, it being allow- 
able to do so, without any injury to the colours, which, however, 
have been seen to fail after a length of time. In retouching the 
dark parts in this manner, there are some painters, who make a 
water-colour tint of black and fine lake, mixed together, with which 

* Occheja. The name and natui-e of this pigment is quite unknown, unless it 
be a typical error for ocrea arsCf burnt ochre. See Lomazzo, Trattato. p. 196. 


they retouch the naked figures, and produce a most beautiful e£Fect, 
because they make hatchings upon the painting, as it is usual to do, 
while drawing upon paper with black lead. And for this purpose 
they use a rather large hair pencil of minever, with which they work 
carefully and gradually, in the way in which granite is painted. 
Some persons temper these dark tints with gum, some with thin glue, 
and some with yolk of egg ftempera), with which latter vehicle they 
are darker and more permanent than with the others. This I affirm 
from what 1 have both seen and done, and also what I have been 
told by the best painters. And, therefore, pictures painted in seeeo 
upon canvass, should be retouched in this same manner. Armenino, 
Be Veri Frecetti. p, 147. Ed. Pisa, 1825. 



Andrea Pozzo was native of Trent* and a Jesuit. He became an 
architect and a painter, rather by the force of his own genius than 
the instructions of a master. The practice of copying the pictures 
of the best Venetian and Lombard masters, had given him a good 
style in colouring and design, which he improved in Rome, where he 
remained many years. He went also to Genoa and Turin, and in 
both these states may be seen many of his pictures, the best of 
which are those that most resemble the manner of Rubens, to imitate 
whose style he aspired. His pictures in oil are rare, for he finished 
but few. He was always a skilful painter, was judicious in his com- 
position, select in the choice of his forms, his colouring agreeable 
and lively, his handling free and expeditious. His celerity was 
surprising ; he finished a portrait in four hours, which he had been 
required to pamt by a person who was going to leave Italy for Ger- 
many the same day. 

He occupied an honourable rank among those who decorated 
buildings. The roof of the church of St. Ignatius, at Rome, is his 
principal work, and that is sufficient to establish his fame, if he had 
painted nothing else. This work combines novelty of invention with 
harmony of colouring, and picturesque fire, which is admired both by 
Maratti and Carlo Ferri ; the latter of whom was astonished, that in 
so few years, Andrea had, as he said, with such a masterl)^ hand, 
filled the Piazza Navona with figures. He concluded by observing, 
that if the horses of other painters walked, those of Pozzo galloped. 

In perspective, he ranks among the most eminent ; and, even on 
concave surfaces, he was able to make all the parts appear convex ; 
as, for instance, the paintings on the Tribune at Frascati, where he 
pourtrayed the circumcision, and in the Corridor of Jesus at Rome. 
He however obtained most reputation, by deceiving the eye with 
imaginary cupolas in many churches belonging to his order : he also 
painted theatrical scenes, introducing colonnades and buildings ynth 


such an imitation of truth> as to render credible what Vitnivius, Book 
VII. c. 5. and Pliny, Book lxxxv. c. 4. wrote respecting the skill 
of the ancients in this respect. Although well acquainted with the 
theory of optics, as is proved by his two volumes on perspective, he 
accustomed himself never to di'aw, without having previously made 
models, and distributed the lights and shades. When he had to 
paint on canvass, he gave it a thin couch of glue, without gesso, 
which he would not use, because it appeared to him, that when the 
colours were applied, it prevented the proper blending of the lights 
and shades. He was born in 1642 and died 1709. Lanzi. — ^The 
following precepts on fresco painting were appended to his great 
work, familiarly called the "Jesuit's Perspective." 


— ^The arricciato is the first coat of mortar which is given to a wall or 
place on which it is required to paint ; this should be rather rough. 
The painter must take care never to begin his painting on* walls on 
which the lough-cast has been recently applied, particularly if in 
interiors ; because, besides the damp, which is very injurious to the 
health, the lime exhales a bad smell, which is equally prejudicial. 

When the arricciato is laid upon the wall, and so free from all 
dampness, as to appear quite dry, it is necessary to wet it sufficiently 
and to give it a thin coat of mortar, which is laid evenly over the 
wall, and this is called laying on the intonaco. The lime selected 
for this purpose, should have been slaked for a year, or at least six 
months, in countries where the lime is strong ; but where the lime 
is milder, it can be used sooner. It must be mixed with river sand, 
not too coarse, nor yet excessively fine. At Rome, the painters use 
Pozzolana, but as the grains of this are of very unequal size, it is 
extremely difficult to levigate mortar composed of it, and still more 
difficult to work out the cracks and crevices which appear, if it stand 
for some hours ; it is therefore necessary to stir it continually with 
the trowel. The mortar should be Isdd on by an expert and active 
mason, in order that the intonaco may be spread evenly, and that 
the painter may have sufficient time to paint upon it during the 
whole of that day, or more, according as the weather is hot or cold, 
or the place damp or dry. 



The intonaco being equally spread, it will be proper to raise up the 
small grains of sand with a brush, that the colours may adhere more 
easily. This is called granire, and is especially necessary on large 
works which are to be seen from a distance. The same preparation 
can also be used for those which are to be seen close, but, in that 
1/ case, the roughness and inequality of the grain must be removed, by 

laying a sheet of strong paper over the intonaco, and pressing it 
moderately with the hand or a trowel, in^ order to press in the most 
prominent grains of sand, and to flatten the surface. 

Of the designs and cartoons. — ^Before beginning to paint, it 
is necessary to prepare a small drawing or well-studied coloured 
sketch, which the painter should always keep before him, that he 
may have nothing to think of but the execution. A cartoon should 
also be made as large as the picture intended to be painted, which 
should be flxed against the wall in the place the picture is to occupy, 
in order to detect the errors (if there be any) from a distance, and to 
correct them. 

Graticolarb, or enlarging by squares. — ^When the places 
to be painted are large, such as churches or saloons, or curved or 
irregular vaulted ceilings, for which either the cartoons cannot be 
made sufficiently large, or upon which they cannot be spread without 
difficulty, it is necessary to use the grata^ which is very useful for 
enlarging designs. The grata is particularly useful in perspective 
drawing, especially on vaulted ceilings, and irregular surfaces, to 
make an architectural design in perspective appear straight, fiat, or 
upright. The small design must first be divided into squares, and 
then the picture must be divided into the same number of larger 
squares.^ After this, the painter, having considered what number of 
squares he can paint in one day, as was said before, must cause the 
wall to be carefully covered with the intonaco, marking the grata 
(which had been covered over),*^ again on the fresh intonaco, that it 
may guide him in drawing the outlines of the painting. If, after 

* Yasari calls this re/e, Mahasia, Graticola, 

^ The contents of each of the small squares are then copied into the eorres- 
ponding squares of the large cartoon. 

^ This was the usual practice of the school of Giotto, which does not appear 
to have used large cartoons. See Cennino, Vasari^/^amm. 


having finished painting for that day, any part of the intonaco should 
be still unpainted, which would dry before the next day, it must be 
cut away,* taking care not to make the cuttings in the middle of the 
carnations, but only in their outhnes, or in the draperies. The intO' 
naco must thus be put on piece by piece ; and the mason must take 
care to do this well, so as not to daub the outlines of the picture, 
nor to splash it, and therefore, in order to obviate all dangers of this 
kind, it will be better to begin painting at the top of the picture. 

Of tracing. — ^When the outlines of the design have been drawn 
on large paper, as is mentioned before, the cartoon must be laid upon 
the intonaco, the wetness of which will allow it to receive any im- 
pression, and then the outlines must be traced over lightly with an 
iron stile. For small pictures, it will be sufficient to pounce the 

On the preparation op the colours. — ^Before begining to 
paint, it is necessary to prepare the colours, and the various tints, 
such, at least, as will be required for one figure; indeed, if a mass of 
architecture is to be painted, it will be necessary to prepare a general 
tint for the whole work ; otherwise, it would be difficult, if obliged 
to mix additional quantities, to match the colours. It is not necessary 
to speak of the other usual preparations, as thay are common to oil 

The manner op painting. — ^Painting in fresco is not diflferent 
from oil painting, except that it requires greater quickness and cele- 
rity, from the difficulty caused by the necessity of the artist 
accomodating himself to the situation in which the picture is to be 
painted. Therefore, besides arranging the colours in order, in 
separate gallipots, it is also proper to be provided with a palette of 
copper, tin, or wood,^ with a raised edge all round, in order that the 
more liquid colours may not be spilled, with a small jar in the middle 
for holding pure water, that there may be some near at hand with 
which to wet the colours. A sponge soaked in water will do as well. 
Care must also be taken not to begin the painting, until the lime 

*■ As to cuttings and joinings see II. Rep. page 23. 
^ Palomino recommends a palette of canvass. 


has sufficient consistence not to receive the impression of the fingers, 
because if the intonaco be painted on while too wet, the free play of 
the brush will be impeded, and the whole work will be weak, and 
only serve for a first painting. 

Impastare, e caricarb, or solid painting. — ^Fresco painting 
has this peculiarity, that the first colours which touch the lime, soon 
become faint, and lose a great deal of their brilliancy. On this 
account it is necessary to go over the work again with a greater body 
of the same colours, and never to leave, for a moment, the part on 
which the painter is engaged, until it is quite finished and perfected ; 
otherwise all touches done after a few hours, appear hke so many 
spots or soils on the picture, and, in that case, it is better to wait till 
the painting is quite dry, and then retouch it in secco. 

Retouching. — ^Whoever can finish his painting in buono-fresco, 
will always have his picture more complete, and the colours more 
lasting than if retouched in secco ; but, as the lime almost always 
makes some change in the colours, particularly in the shades, it can 
and ought to be retouched, by small hatchings, laid on either with 
crayons made of egg sheUs, or with paint brushes half dry, dipped 
in the necessary colour. This kind of retouching is quite useless 
when employed upon places which are uncovered and exposed to the 
air, because the rain will wash them all away. To retouch fresco 
painting so as to withstand water, wet the fresco several times with 
water, in which gum arabic has been dissolved, and then cover it 
with the following varnish : — 

Acqua di rasa (spirit of turpentine), 2 oz. 
Olio di Ahezzo (Venice turpentine), 1 oz. 
The whole boiled on a slow fire; when dry, let the painting be 
retouched with colours ground with oil. 

Sfumarb or softening. — In softening and uniting the colours, 
soft brushes of hog's bristles, not too moist, must be used, and some- 
times the finger may be employed with efiect on heads, hands, and 
other small parts, particularly when the lime begins to harden. But 
when it is necessary to soften a large portion, such as a sky, a glory, 
&c., it should be done at first while the lime is quite wet, or when it 
is only half dry, with convenient tools and in such a manner as the 
industry of the painter may suggest. 


Alterations. — It frequently happens, that some figure does not 
satisfy the expectations of the artist, so that he wishes to alter it. 
For this purpose it is necessary to remove the intonaco from that 
part, without touching the rest of the picture, and after having well 
cleaned the place where it stood, to wet it well, and lay on it some 
fresh intonaco. In a covered place» however, the more distant figures 
may be repainted in secco over the first. This we only say incident- 
ally, to relieve the minds of young painters from any scruple on this 

Op the colours. — It is necessary to know what colours are 
good for painting in fresco ; for it would be of little use to paint a 
beautiful picture, if, owing to the incompatibihty of one colour with 
another, or of the colours with the lime, the picture should not last 
long. The following are some observations concerning them, begin- 
ning with those which are the best for our purpose. 

White pigments. White from lime. — The white made from 
lime is the best of all, for mixing with the colours, as well for the 
carnations as the draperies, provided the lime has been slaked for a 
year, or at least for six months as before stated. It must be mixed 
with water, and strained through coarse silk, allowing it to settle to 
the bottom, and throwing away the superfluous water, so that it may 
stand upon the palette. 

White from Carrara Marble and Egg Shells. — ^The marble 
must be reduced to powder, and ground mth water, mixing it 
with lime to give it more body. It is white and a good pigment ; 
but it is useless trouble to prepare this, when well seasoned lime, or 
prepared egg shells, can be obtained. The white from egg shells 
is also very white, and is good for painting in fresco and secco, 
and for making crayons for retouching. A great quantity of egg 
shells must be collected, and cleaned from the egg by boiling them 
with some quick lime, having first pounded them a little. They 
must then be strained and washed with spring water, then pounded 
finer and washed again ; and this must be repeated until the water 
comes ofif quite clear. They must next be ground very fine with the 
muller, and made into small cakes, which, when dried in the sun, 
can be used for the carnations, or for white draperies, or elsewhere 
at pleasure. We must observe, however, that if these pounded egg 


shells are allowed to remain moist for some time, they will give Out 
an insupportable odour, which may be prevented by putting them in 
an earthen jar, and sending them to the oven to bake. 

Red pigments. Vermilion (Cinabro). — ^This is the most lively 
colour of any, but is quite incompatible with lime, particularly when 
exposed to the air. If the painting is under shelter, it can be used, 
but first it is necessary to prepare it in the following manner. Take 
the pure vermiUon, in powder, and put it in an earthen vessel, and 
\/ pour over it some water in which lime has been slaked, as clear as it 
can be obtained. Then pour off the water, and add some fresh lime- 
water, and repeat this several times ; and by this means the ver- 
milion becomes imbued with the qualities of the lime, which it never 
loses. In purchasing the vermilion, it is better to buy it in the 
lamp, than in powder, because the powdered vermilion is frequently 
adulterated with minium, and does not produce its proper effect. 

Burnt Roman Vitriol.® — Roman Vitriol baked in the oven, and 
then ground with spirit of wine, succeeds admirably upon fresh lime ; 
when alone, it makes a red like lake. It is particularly useful as a 
ground for vermilion. When both are used on a drapery, they pro- 
duce a lake colour quite equal to that of lake in oil painting. This 
colour may be used instead of Bruno rf' Inghilterra. 

Rossetto d'Inghilterra. — Instead of the vitriol, Rossetto d^In^ 
ghilterra produces nearly the same effect, as it is, itself, of the nature 
of vitriol. If it is used upon the lime, while quite moist, and then 
shaded, when dry, it looks like lake. 

/ , 

Red Ochre, {Terra Rosso), like all the other earths, is most 
excellent for painting in fresco. It is used in the carnations, dra- 
peries, and wherever it is wanted. Burnt yellow ochre, {Terra 
Gialla Abbrucciata), is rather of a pale red, and is good for 
W the dark parts of the carnations, mixed with Venetian Terra Nera, 
It is also used to shade yellow draperies. 

Yellow Pigments. Yellow Ochre. — ^There are two sorts of 
yellow ochre found at Rome, one light, and the other darker, both 
beautiful in their kind. If used carefully on draperies, they are 
quite equal to Giallolino. Yellow earths are found in other parts of 

» Sulphate of iron. 


Italy, but they are not equal to the Roman. Naples Yellow, 
(Giallolino di Fomace), is also called Giallolino di Napoli, It is very 
durable, but should not be used in exposed situations. 

Green Pigments. — Sap Green (Pasta Verde), is made from the 
juice of the Buckthorn (Spincervino) ; mixed with "white Hme, it 
becomes yellow, but the colour is rather fleeting. — ^Terre Vbrtb. 
That of Verona is the finest, indeed the only green earth proper for 
draperies, in fresco, as almost all the others are manufactured, and 
incompatible with the lime. Other kinds of Terre Verte are also 
found, but are inferior. Next to this, however, the Terre Verte of 
Capri, when it is genuine, is the best and finest. 

Brown Pigments. — Umber is good for the shades of draperies, 
particularly yellow ones. It must be used with care, and mixed 
with white lime, because it always becomes darker and iiicreases in 
depth. Burnt Umber is excellent for the shades of the carnations, 
when mixed with Venetian Terra Nera, and particularly in the deeper 

Black Pigments. — ^Venetian black earth (Terra Nera), is the 
darkest of all for fresco painting, and is good for the shades of the 
carnations, and produces the same effect as bistre (Fuligine) in secco, 
and bitumen in oil. Roman black earth (Terra Nera di Roma), 
produces the same effect as charcoal black, and is in pretty general 
use. Charcoal black can be made in various ways, namely, with 
vine wood, burnt, with peach stones, with nut shells, with lees or 
tartar of wine, or with paper. These must all be burnt, and then 
ground to powder, with a Httle water, and made into cakes. In 
fresco painting, in which bone black cannot be used, charcoal black 
is good for anything for which black is required.* 


Blue Pigments. — Smaltino {glass blue). This is useful in 
fresco, and should be laid on before the other colours, while the 
intonaco is still wet, for otherwise it will not incorporate firmly. An 
hour after, a second coat must be laid on, to make the colour deeper. 
The pure colour will serve for shades, but charcoal black should be 

* The distinction seems to be, that the vegetable charcoal may be used in 
fresco, but not animal charcoal. Black earths are preferable to either. — ^Ed. 


used in the deeper shades. All the above mentioned colours must 
be mixed with lime white, to produce the light, dark, and middle 
tints used by painters. Ultramarine is as good in fresco as in 
secco, but is not used, as it is of such gieat value.^ Indigo may be 
used in summer, as it then dries quickly, but it must not be used in 

MoRBLLO Di Sale, mixed with smaltino, makes a purple, as 
indeed it does when used alone. 

The above are all the colours which can be used for painting in 

Colours incompatiblb with lime, and which thbrbfore 
CANNOT bb used FOR FRBSco PAINTING. — ^Whitc lead, Vcrziuo lake, 
(i. e, lake from Brazil wood), fine lake, verdegris, blue green 
(Verde Azzurro), Verde P or o (leek green), Verde in Canna, Giallo 
Santo (yellow lake), French GialloUno, orpiment, bone-black, 
biadetto, and indigo, which has been already mentioned. 

Painting upon walls in sbgco. — ^Walls are frequently painted 
in secco, having a priming of soft gesso, mixed with size, laid upon 
them. In this manner, all colours can be used, without exception. 
It must be observed, however, that walls which have been white- 
washed several times, must be scraped ; otherwise, in dry weather, 
the excessive thickness of the white-wash causes the priming to 
scale off, so as to shew the bare wall, which will spoil the picture. 
On new walls, a coating of gesso, prepared as above mentioned, should 
be laid on while the mortar is wet, and all kinds of colours can be 
used upon it. 

* Palomino says, this pigment cannot be used in fresco because the lime 
destroys it — Ed. 
^ This colour also is said to be destroyed by wet lime. — Ed. 




Pachbco was born at Seville, about 1571. He was the pupil of Luis 
Fernandez, and the master of Alonzo Cano and Velasquez. Carducho 
and Palomino speak of Pacheco as a scientific painter, and a good 
instructor, yet, even during his life, he was the subject of severe 
criticism, as we find by the following epigram, written by a sarcastic 
Andalusian, at the bottom of a naked figure of Christ, which he had 

painted : — 

'%'Quien os puso asi^ seiior, 
Tan desabrido y tan seco ? 
Yos mi direis que el amor, 
Mas OS digo que Pacheco.'' 
" Who made you thus» Lord, so doleful and so dry ? you will tell 
me it was love, but I teD you it was Pacheco." 

However, to do him justice, we find, in his works, great correctness 
of design, a pure and noble style, natural attitudes, and a profound 
knowledge of chiaro-scuro and perspective. If, to these important 
qualities, he had united a more agreeable and harmonious colouring, 
and greater freedom of execution, he would, at least, have equalled 
the best painters of Andalusia, who have frequently sacrificed correct- 
ness of outhne to splendour of colouring. 

His most important literary work is the book, entitled " Arte de la 
Pintura," which he wrote towards the end of his life, and which was 
pubHshed in 1 64 1 . This work, from which the following extracts are 
selected, comprises all the information on the subject that could be 
furnished by a long life and long experience. The work is elementary 
and classical, and is considered, by the Spaniards, as the best written 
work on the subject in the language. It contains, besides lessons on 
art, many interesting particulars respecting those who have practised 
the art, and the works which they have produced. — Viardot, Notices 
sur les Pemtres de V Espagne, Palomino says that he died in 1654. 



Inquiry whether the ancients painted in fresco. — In 
treatiDg of fresco painting, and of its antiqoity and use, let us 
hear what Pahlo de Cespedes * has to say. " I found myself in Rome 
with very learned and experienced painters, who contended that the 
ancients were not only unacquainted with oil painting, but with fresco 
painting also, and that they only practised distemper painting; whicli 
was news to me. And it appears to me, that much may be said on 
both sides of the question. That they were acquainted with fresco 

* Pablo de Cespedes, bom at Cordova, in 1538, died 1608. He was a great 
and almost universal genius, whose desire for learning extended to the sciences, 
belles-lettres, and the fine arts, and who only failed of being the first in 
every study, because he turned from one to the other before he had acquired 
perfection, and because he divided his genius among several branches of study, 
instead of centering it in one absorbing taste, one sole study, and one persevering 
struggle for success. He was the firiend of Federigo Zucchero, and worked in 
his studio. He painted frescoes in the church of Ara-coeli, in the Trinita de 
Monte, with Zacchero, Julio Romano, Daniel de Volterra, Pelegiino da 
Bologna, and Perino del Vaga. 

He understood well the Italian, Latin, and Greek Languages, and was also 
acquainted with the Hebrew and Arabic. He was the author of several works 
on the arts, the best of which is entitled, ** De la comparacion, de la anfigua y 
modema pintura y eecultura.** Pacheco has preserved some valuable fragments 
of his poem on painting, which is the best didactic poem in the Spanish lan- 
guage. His works, excepting the frescoes executed during his studies in Italy, 
are extremely scarce out of Cordova and Seville. Palomino says, he was a great 
imitator of the works of Correggio, and one of the best colourists of Spain : Don 
Antonio Ponz adds, '* that if Cespedes could have enjoyed the friendship of 
Raffaello as he did that of Zucchero, he would have been one of the greatest 
painters in the world, as he was one of the wisest/' Cean Bermudez thus 
eulogises him : ^* We admire the elegance and grandeur of the forms, the vigour 
of the figures, the study and knowledge of anatomy, the skilfulness of the fore- 
shortenings, the eflfect of the chiaro-scuro, the brilliancy of the colouring, the 
truth of the expression, and, above all, his powers of invention ; for he had no 
occasion to borrow from others." The Chapter of Cordova having requested 
Zucchero to paint a St. Margeret for them, the Italian artist replied, " Can they 
ask paintings from Italy in a town where they have Cespedes "i" 

Carducho (Dial. 2. fol. 31.) says, that he studied much the works of Michael 
Angelo, and trod in his footsteps, not only in painting and architecture, but in 
sculpture also. — See also Palomino, Vol. II. p. 406, &c. 

Cespedes was accustomed to make cartoons in black and red, as large as he 
intended to make the painting ; and there are many portraits by him done in 
this manner. — Viard^fe Notices mr les Prineipaux Peintres de V Espagne, 


paintmg is testified by the pictures found in Rome, in grottoes, and 
subterranean vaults, whence it is called grotesque painting. But it is 
objected, that these are evidently not fresco, but distemper painting , 
and, although I have seen several, I cannot tell which they are, 
though I rather think that they are frescoes, and the state they are 
in is not sufficiently perfect to enable me to decide.'^ This opinion is 
confirmed by Pliny, who, speaking of black, and how it was used, 
says, that when used for writing it was mixed with gum, but 
when for painting on walls, it was mixed with glue or paste. They 
called this manner of painting on walls opus tectorium. And it 
is clear that in fresco painting nothing is used with the colours but 
pure water ; and also, that negro de humo (lamp black, which is what 
Pliny means) is not proper for fresco painting. 

" That the ancients were acquainted with fresco painting can be 
collected from what this same Pliny says, in chapter iii, speaking of 
three pictures in the city of Ardea, which, although uncovered by a 
roof, had lasted many years ; and the same in Lanuvium, a city near 
Rome, so that, being painted on a wall, some without a roof and the 
others in a ruined temple (according to report), being in such a fresh 
state of preservation, is an indication that they were not distemper ; 
since, although so old, they still retained their first beauty. 

" It may also be observed in chapter iv, that Fabius, a most illus- 
tiious Roman (who was called Pictor), painted the Temple of PubUc 
Safety, in Rome, and his pictures remainded till the reign of the 

■ From the followiDg description g;iveii by Federigo Zucchero {" Idea de Pittore," 
&c. in the Lett. Pitt. yoL XL p. 142, 143.) of the celebrated ancient picture known 
by the name of the Aldobrandini Marriage, we may conclude that it is a fresco 
painting. ** It was discovered on the mount of S. Maria Maggiore, in the Orti 
Mecenati, by those excavators, who are continually at work, examining here and 
there, under ground, to find statues, marbles and figures, buried in those ruins. 
They found a room, of which a piece of the wall was left standing, upon which 
was painted an elegant and beautiful picture in fresco, vnth figures about three 
palms high, coloiured by the hand of a master. This piece was considered worthy 
of being sawn off, and brought to light, and placed in the garden of the Cardinal 
Aldobrandini at Monte Manganopoli, and was so well preserved among these ruins, 
that it was quite wonderful. And I, who was by chance one of the first to see 
it, and wash it, and clean it carefully with my own hand, observed it was as well 
preserved, and as fresh as if it had but just been painted ; so that it pleased me 
exceedingly, and I caused it to be brought to light.'' This picture was a favourite 
subject of study with Raffaello and Nicholas Poussin ; the latter is said to have 
made an accurate copy of it. 


Emperor Claudiae, when they were destroyed by fire ; so that they 
lasted at least three hundred years." Thus far Cespedes. 

Agreeing in these opinions, I answer to those who wish to make 
it appear that the ancients painted in distemper only, that under this 
name is comprehended fresco, as all that is not oil painting, must 
necessarily be distemper, and in reality, fresco is a particular kind of 
distemper; and it cannot be denied that the ancients painted in 
fresco, from the duration of their paintings. Thus Yasari, whose 
words leave no doubt as to the fact, asserts, "Era degli antichi 
molto usato il fresco, et i vecchi modemi ancora V hanno poi segui- 
tato," — Fresco was much used by the ancients, in which the early 
masters have followed them. 

We now come to the execution of fresco paintings. Of all kinds 
of painting, that of fresco painting is the most masterly, dexterous, 
and expeditious, completing in one day, what, in any other style, 
would occupy a long time in painting, and which may be retouched. 
But fresco painting requires great dexterity and boldness, and the 
mistakes and faults are irremediable, unless the work be cut out. It 
is the most manly and lasting kind of painting, therefore, those who 
practise it ought to be more respected and esteemed than other 
painters, being considered great masters. 

The wall must be very dry, strong, and free from moisture, and 
must have been plastered a long time previous ; and the lime which 
is to be used must be very mild, it being necessary to keep it in soft 
water above two years, and it must be mixed with fine sand, in equal 
proportions, and the mortar must be laid on that part only which can 
be painted in one day. 

The colours must be natural colours, the white pigment must be 
fine lime either from Portugal, or from Marchena ; * very white, and 
of great body, which has lost its causticity by being kept for many 
days in a large jar with soft water ; this white, if made into balls, 
can be kept many years. It is ground with soft water, and is pat 
into a pot covered with the same water, and is used instead of white 
lead, mixed with the other colours. The Hght and dark ochre must 
be of great body, such as that of Flanders and of Portugal, also 
of Castelleja de la Cuesta, which Luis de Vargas used in painting 
the tower. 

* A town of Andalusia. 


Of thb colours, cartoons, and painting. — The light ochre 
mixed with lime, serves instead of genuli for the yellows ; the alma- 
gra de Levante serves instead of vermilion for the flesh, and for the 
light draperies ; and Albin for the crimson of this kind of painting. 
Of the last are made the rose colours, and the purples, when mixed 
with esmalte, which is the blue pigment best adapted for fresco 
painting, because it is glass and incorporates better than other 
blue pigments with the lime. It is the most difficult colour to use, 
and should be the first finished. It should be used in this man- 
ner : — to make light blue it should be mixed with the liquor that/ 
is produced by mixing water with the powdered lime,* stirring it 
about until it is thick and clouded ; and the middle and dark tints 
are made in the same manner ; this is the safest method of using it ; 
but some persons who wish to darken the tints with pure esmalte, 
retouch it the next day, either with egg and water and the leaf of a 
fig tree, or with the yolk of egg as in distemper painting, or with 
the milk of goats alone. The same may be done with the green, 
if it is verde terra or verde montana,^ But verdacho ^ agrees better 
with the lime in fresco, and may be made lighter with it at pleasure, 
or darkened with black. The common brown is the Italian umber, 
and the black is the negro de carbon; but my master,'* who was much 
practised in this kind of painting, used the negro de bano, which 
is not to be found everjrwhere. 

And I must tell you, that in tempering the colours you must 
consider how much lighter they will appear when mixed with the 
lime, after the painting is dry, and this can be taught only by 
experience.® Therefore, always mix more colour than you require 
for the picture, for it will be scarcely possible to match the colour 

The preparation which is usually made after the lime is spread on 
the wall, is to bathe it with a large brush dipped in soft and clear 
water, that the cracks, which are frequently found in the stucco, may 
be filled up before drawing what is to be painted, or pouncing the 
cartoon, which last is the best way for producing a good eflfect. 

* t. e,f Lime water. 

^ See this word in the Treatise on Colours — Green pigments. 

« Ibid. 

•• Pacheco was the pupil of Luis Fernandez. 

« I. Rep. 24, 35. 




And some persons even keep before them not only highly-finished 
drawings, but heads painted in oil from nature, that the figures 
may appear in better relief ; for if you draw on the wall with pendl 
(Lapiz), and paint off hand whatever presents itself, you will not 
preserve the good opinion of others, nor will your works do you 

After the cartoon is pounced or drawn, the wall should have 
a couch of ground lime with a little almagra, so that it should be 
of a light flesh colour, except when azure or green is to be used, 
when lime alone should be employed.** And then begin to lay 
on the various colours, making them very liquid, for upon this 
{intonaco) they may be applied well according to their tints as 
in painting with water colours. 

Rktouchino in distemper. — ^As to retouching in distemper after 
the wall is dry, there is much to be said against it, notwithstanding 
that many great men practised it, — as Mateo Perez de Alecio,*^ in the 
San Christoval, and in the door of the Cardinal; Antonio Mohedano,* 
and Alonso Varquez ® in the cloister of San Francisco ; Peregrin^ in 

• Pacheco was very careful in the preparation of his works. Daring a prac- 
tice of forty years, he never omitted to make, previous to commencing his 
painting, two or three studied designs ; he first painted the heads, separately, 
and from nature ; he also drew, upon coloured paper, and always from nature, 
the arms, hands, legs, and all the naked parts of the body which he intended to 
represent ; and also the different stuffs and draperies, which he disposed upon a 
layman; and then he made a general composition of all these prepared fragments. 

^ From this it appears that it was not the practice of the Spanish school to 
lay a black or red ground under blue. 

^ Mateo Perez de Alecio. A native of Rome who painted the celebrated San 
Christobal, ia the Church of Seville, " a work," says Palomino, " which has no 
equal either in execution or size ; since it is thirty feet high. It is executed in 
fresco, and with such skill, that thejoimngs of the tareas are not visible" He 
died about 1600, at Rome. 

^ Antonio Mohedano was the friend of Cespedes, whose school he followed. 
Palomino says, that " he painted in fresco with such skill, both in design and 
in colouring, that he was inferior to no painter of his own time, and indeed was 
never equalled. He learned the art from Caesar Arbasia of Cordova." He died 
in 1625. 

<: Alonzo Varquez, of the school of Luis de Vargas in Seville, was an excel- 
lent fresco painter, skilful in anatomy and colouring. He died in 1650. 

' Peregrino di Bologna. One of the most distinguished pupils and followers 
of the school of Michael Angelo. He painted, in fresco, the roof of the Royal 


that of the Escurial, and many others ; but he spoke well who said 
that a fresco, when finished in distemper, was only a sketch. I 
myself in no wise approve of retouching ; — ^let fresco be fresco, and 
let distemper be distemper. Besides, the colours which are used in 
retouching, are sometimes hghter and sometimes darker than the 
picture. But the writer who reproves this practice most severely, is 
Vasari, who says, "Those who paint on walls labour in a manly way 
in fresco, and do not retouch when dry in secco, which, besides being 
a very bad practice, renders the picture less durable." 

I finish the chapter by observing, that the pencils must be of hog's 
bristles, wide and pointed, large or small, because the lime does not 
destroy them, and the brushes * are to be of the same kind, using 
sometimes common and small ones. 

Among those who have painted in this manner, with great skill 
and' approbation in our days, are Cesar Albasia, in the Treasury of 
Cordova, Mateo Perez de Alecio, Antonio Mohedano, and Alonzo 
Varquez, and in Castile, Bartolomeo Carducho and his brother,** and 

Monastery of San Lorenzo, with such skill, that the naked fig;ures which appear 
to support the roof seem (says Palomino) to be the work of Michael Angelo 

* The distinction between pencils and brushes is, that the pencUs are fastened 
into quills and the brushes on sticks. 

^ Bartolommeo and Yincenzo Carducci were Italians who settled in Spain. 
The former studied under Zucchero, and was called into Spain in 1585, to assist 
in decorating the Escurial. He died in 1608. It is considered that of all the 
Italian painters Bartolommeo was the most useful to the .progress of the fine arts 
in Spain, not on account of the splendour of his works, but rather for his supe- 
rior method of instruction, for the wisdom of his maxims, and the good school 
which he formed, and which his brother Yincenzo continued and rendered 

Yincenzo accompanied his brother to Spain in 1585, and in 1606 assisted in 
executing the decorations of the Palace del Pardo, where he painted in fresco the 
cupola of the chapel. 

In 1629, Yincenzo entered into a contract to paint in fresco the grand cloister 
of the Convent del Paular, by which he agreed to paint fifty-six pictures in four 
years, fourteen every year, for which he was to receive fifteen hundred ducats 
a-year. This singular contract was punctually fulfilled. Cean-Bermudez, who 
relates that he had passed a fortnight in this convent to examine at leisure the 
work of Yincenzo, affirms, that in this long and uniform series of pictures (repre- 
senting the life of St. Bruno) in which monotony seemed inevitable, we admire 
on the contrary, great fertility of invention, an ingenious arrangement of the 
actions and groups, not less than the anatomical science and the harmony 
of the colours. 


Peregrin, but our Luia de Vargas * of Seville is inferior to none in 
the management of his colours, as is evident in the Arch of the 
Treasury, the Tower, and Cristo de gradas, and we are all much 
indebted to him, he being the first who introduced fresco painting into 
Seville, and he painted the first fresco there in the year 1555. It is 
a picture of the Rosary, in shape a large oval, and is painted on a 
pillar of the Convent of St. Paul, but it was destroyed by attempting 
to repair it. 

Vincenzo Carducho published in 1633 his *' Dialogues on the Theory of 
Painting," which is considered the best Spanish work op the subject. He died 
in 1638. 

* Luis de Vargas, the most ancient of the great painters of Andalusia, was 
born in 1502 ; he had the great honour of introducing in his own country the 
true method of painting in fresco and in oil. It was he who substituted the 
style of the Renaissance for the gothic style which then prevailed in Spain. 

The great resemblance between his paintings and those of Perino del Vaga 
prove that he had chosen this pupil of Raffaello for his master. The fresco which 
Pacheco calls the " Cristo de gradas,''* was painted in 1563 ; it is on the steps 
of the church of San Pablo. Within the short space of thirty years after it was 
painted, that is, in 1594, the Portuguese painter Vasoo Pereyra, who was settled 
at Seville, was entrusted by the Chapter, to repair this magnificent fresco. Palo- 
mino also mentions that this painting had suffered much from the effects of time. 
The cause of the rapid decay of these frescoes is not assigned by either Pacheco 
or Palomino. Viardot observes generally, ** Unfortunately the greater part of his 
works were in fresco, and these are so much decayed by time and carelessness 
that scarcely a vestige remains of them." The last of these, which is nearly 
effaced, was finished in 1568. The pictures mentioned by Viardot and other 
writers, seem to have been chiefly external frescoes. 

* Those who were condemned to do penance were accustomed to stop and pray before this 
picture, whence it acquired the popular name of *'Il Cristo de los AzotadoSt** — ^the Christ of 
the whipped. 



Don Acisclo Antonio Palomino de Castro y Velasco was born in 1563. 
The numerous works, both in oil and fresco, left by this artist, may 
be placed in the first rank among those produced at this period of 
the decline of the art. The design of his pictures is correct, the 
colouring in harmony with the subject, the draperies appropriate, 
the arrangement of the composition relieves, as much as possible, the 
common and ignoble forms of the figures. His pictures shew traces 
of acquirements not immediately connected with the art ; his painting 
is learned, as is that of all declining schools, while in schools that are 
beginning or rising into greatness, it appears more ignorant and artless. 
Palomino lived at a period, parallel to that of the commentators on 
literature, when much was written on art, although the exercise of it 
had ceased ; when the theory was studied, while the practice was 
neglected; when it was known accurately why, and how, great 
masters were produced, but the secret of becoming such was lost. 
This was the case with Palomino ; under the obscure and assuming 
title of " Museo pictorico y escala optica" he published three large 
volumes in quarto, the two first of which contain instructions in 
painting, that is to say, the history, the practice, and rules, of the 
various parts of the art. The third part bearing the title of "Pamaso 
Espahole pintoresco laureado" contains the biography of the Spanish 
painters, commencing with the life of old Antonio del Rincon, who 
died in 1500, to his own friends and contemporaries. 

When Luca Giordano, who was but an indifferent theologian, was 
ordered to paint the ceilings of the Escurial (soon after 1 692) he found 
himself much at a loss to execute the subject which the iponks desired, 
the king therefore desired Palomino to assist him with the designs. 
Palomino executed this delicate mission so well, that the delighted 


Giordano, kissed the sketches, exclaiming "they are already painted." 
Palomino published the last volume of his work in 1 724, and died 
in 1726. — Viardot, Notices, 8fC, 


The practice op Fresco Painting. — The practice of fresco painting 
(observes Palomino), is not adapted for copyists, or timid painters, 
or irresolute persons, who necessarily avail themselves of the genius 
of others ; for there must always be not only sketches or outlines of 
the same proportions as the place the painting is to occupy, but also 
particular studies, both of single figures, and historical groups, and 
the artist must have sufficient skill to prepare these for himself. By 
means of these sketches or outlines, the work is carried on with 
freedom, skill, and power, which this kind of painting requires, 
because much may be done in one day, and the work will have fewer 
retouchings and joinings, not to mention other advantages of greater 
importance, which increase the beauty of the picture. 

Now fresco painting is, as I have observed * in the first volume, 

■ The following are the observations of Palomino here referred to : — " Finally, 
the manrellous operation of this kind of painting consists in the attractive virtue 
of the stucco, formed of lime and sand, which sucks in and drinks up with such 
seemingly insatiable ardor, and with such violence, the moisture put on with the 
colours, that it incorporates and unites with itself the said colours, which indeed 
are homogeneous, or similar to the natural state, since the mineral colours are of 
the nature of the sand ; and the white which is used with them is of the slime 
lime, although some add to it one-half or one-third of alabaster, or white marble, 
from which combination of the colours and the lime, results another species of 
stucco, so well united with the other Intonaco which is below it, by virtue of the 
moisture, that the two form one thing, as they are both inseparable from each 

" This effect may be prevented from taking place by any one of the three fol- 
lowing causes, viz. a very hard frost, an intense heat, or by the work being too 
long in hand. The hard frost closes the pores of the surface, so that its attractive 
power ceases, and the whole operation is as useless as if done with ashes ; the 
intense heat dries the lime so rapidly, that it loses that vigor which it should 
have, and it ceases to possess its former power of combining with the colours ; 
and if the work be too long in hand, the pellicle, or thin skin, which is seen on 
the top of the w^ater, when the lime is agitated, forms on the surface of the wall, 
which, closing the pores of the surface, its attractive power ceases, and conse- 
quently its effect." 


(Book I, chap. 6, s. 8) that kind of painting in which water alone is 
Qsed, the adhesion of the colours to the wall being occasioned by the 
attractive power of the fresh stucco, with which the surface to be 
painted is covered. Hence it is evident, that the subject cannot be 
sketched on the surface, on which the painting is afterwards to be 
executed, because, previously to painting, it must be covered with 
the stucco. It is called fresco painting because the painting must be 
performed on it while the stucco is still damp ; and for this reason, 
the stucco must not be spread over a larger portion of the surface 
than can be painted in one day, and this portion is called in Spanish 
Tarba, and in ItaUan Giornata, which means a day^s work. Now 
as in this kind of painting, the first thing to be prepared is the stucco, 
I shall begin by describing the method of preparing it. 

Op preparing thb stucco. — ^The stucco should be provided, if 
possible, four or six months before it is used, and where this is 
impossible, the architectural part of the picture, and the ornaments, 
if there be any, should be painted before the historical part and the 
figures. Now the stucco is made of hme, passed through a cane or 
open hair sieve, and of sand of good quality, and not argillaceous, 
which also is to be passed through a hair sieve, in doing which it 
must be blown with the mouth, otherwise the sieve will be choked 
up, and the sand will not pass through, and the same will happen in 
sifting the lime, although, by turning the sieve upside down and 
rapping it, the hme will fall out. 

The proportions of hme and sand must be equal ; these are the 
best proportions, as I have proved by experiments, particularly if the 
lime is not old enough to have been made mild by time ; but if it 
has been rendered mild by time, the proportions should be three 
parts of lime and one of sand. It should be mixed with soft water 
in a very large jar or tub, where it can be beaten and stirred about 
conveniently; and should be kept well bathed and covered with water. 
And if the work be on a large scale, there should be two of these 
jars or tubs, so that when the lime in one is consumed, the other 
will be ready for use. 

The mixture being made in this way, it must be stirred up every 
day, first taking off with a piece of tile, the skin or pellicle of nitre 
which will be formed round the edge of the water (it is for this 
reason that it should be kept covered with water), and when the 




day's work is finished, the lime should be again jast covered with 
soft water, and so on every day, without suffering it to become too 
dry. By this means the lime will become so mild, and so purified 
from all causticity, that it may be used Hke lard without injuring the 

Preparation of thb wall. — ^And although the painter may not 
be obhged to prepare the lime himself, yet he should know how to 
do it, that he may instruct the mason, who will be useful for this 
and other purposes, sometimes to the painters, and sometimes to the 
master of the work ; because every person does not know the qual- 
ities or quantities of these things, and still fewer, the mode of pre- 
paring them. Before we treat of this latter operation, we must 
suppose the surface of the wall in a proper state to begin upon. 
And the first requisite is that it must be quite dry, and free from 
moisture, because if not, it will be afterwards liable to be spotted 
with the salt-petre which will appear on the wall when it dries. 

The second requisite is that the wall be rough (t. e. toothed) but 
at the same time level ; it should be rough, that the stucco may 
adhere firmly to it, and may not peel or scale off. The reason for 
its being even and level is, that the stucco may not crack ; for as 
the surface of the plaster must be even in order that the part painted 
on may not appear out of drawing, if there be any hollows in it, 
and the stucco be laid on unequally thick, it will swell and crack, 
and even fall off where it is thickest. 

The third requisite is, that the part of the wall which is to be 
painted the next day be well bathed with soft water the evening 
before, and the same must be done the next morning, before the 
stucco is spread, that it may be fresh and moist the whole day, 
especially in summer ; for exactly as the moisture in the interior of 
the wall is injurious, so that which it receives on the exterior at the 
time of preparing is beneficial. And I must inform you, that if the 
wall has been long plastered and is smooth (unless it be of fine 
white plaster which must be roughened) it will be sufficient to prick 
the outhne well, proceeding in other respects as above mentioned. 

Op laying on thb intonaco. — ^The wall being prepared in 
this manner, and the part over which the stucco is to be spread, (the 
tarea i, e. day's work) being marked out, the mason should take 




some of the stucco on a wooden trowel or float which he will hold in 
his left hand and from thence take it with a mason's trowel, such as 
is used in Valencia or Andalucia, and spread it very evenly on the 
wall, so that the intonaco (tunica) may be about the thickness of a 
dollar. When this is done and before it is too dry, it must be 
smoothed with the same trowel, and if the tarea be large it should 
not be spread over the whole at once, but only a piece at a time, 
and diis is important in order that the work may be firm and free 
from cracks. 

This being done, the mason should wash over the intonaco with a 
handfiil of flax tied up in a linen cloth, well moistened and wetted, 
for three good reasons ; the first is, that it removes the extreme 
smoothness of the wall, which would prevent the colour from ad- 
hering ; the second is, that it eflaces the marks of the trowel ; and 
the third is« that it disturbs the fine sand and opens the pores of the 
intonaco, after it has been smoothed, so that the colour takes better, 
incorporates with it more perfectly, and is more easy to work on. 
This being done, the mason will have done his part of the business. 

After this, and without any delay, the tarea should be wiped 
gently with a silk handkerchief, so as to remove the particles of 
sand from the surface, taking care that they do not fall into the eyes 
at the time of painting, which frequently happens, particiQarly when 
painting a roof or vault, to the painter's great inconvenience ; there- 
fore, if on this account only, it would be well for him to wear 

On using thb cartoons. — After this he should fix the cartoon, 
having first placed it properly, according to the directions already 
given, on distemper painting,* for it will be convenient that the 


* The obsenrations referred to are as follow : — ** And whether the design be 
drawn on the cartoon or on the intended picture, it must first be drawn with 
crayons of charcoal, made of the wood of the willow, nut, osier, or pine. These 
are made by splitting the wood into pieces of the size of an iron tube, or a large 
cattle bell, (which should be had for this purpose) or at least of the size of the 
finger, and being tightly jammed into the tube by strokes of a hammer, they 
should be shut up air tight, then put into the fire, and left there until the tube 
is of a bright red colour, then taken out and put into cold ashes, covering it well 
with them, and covering the ashes with a large earthen pot ; the whole is then to 
be left there till quite cold, because the charcoal will fill with air and break 
easily ; then one of the pieces should be put into a piece of cane split into four 
parts, at the end which is to receive the piece of charcoal, and then tied round 


whole cartoon should be fitted on to the wall, in order that the piece 
that is cut off, should correspond well with the edges and joinings of 
all the rest, for the right arrangement of the whole depends on the 
proper placing of this first piece. 

This cartoon being fixed, drawn, and pricked in the manner refer- 
red to in treating of painting in distemper, and fastened to the wall 
with nails, it should be pounced with a bag of pulverized charcoal, 
and the edge where it is intended to be cut off, should also be rubbed 
with it, that it may serve as a mark where to cut off the tarea, and 
where to begin the next day. 

This being done, the cartoon should be taken off, and the edge of 
the tarea where it has been marked with the bag of charcoal should 
be cut off with a knife or a pointed trowel, cutting it obliquely out- 
wards, that it may not diminish the size of the tarea, nor occasion 
cracks within it, and for this purpose it should always be spread of 
the breadth of two fingers beyond where it is marked, and that 
which is beyond the marks, should not be cut off until the tarea is 

at the part with a thread. It is then to be scraped to a point, and the outline 
to be drawn with it. When this is all done, the outUnes should be fixed, by 
passing over them a pencil, filled with water colour, and if the drawing be made 
on the cartoon, the outline may then be pricked through with a large needle or 
something similar ; after that, it should be placed in the site of the painting, 
and fixed there by means of nails, then it is to be pounced with a bag of ground 
charcoal, and, after that, outlined with water colour by means of a penciL 

" It will not be useless to describe here the mode of making the cartoons since 
every person does not know it. In the first place, the paper must be large, 
(either white or grey), that there may not be too many joinings; the flour paste 
should be well boiled, and the nails (or tacks) the size of No. 12, or those of 
Valladolid. This being prepared, if the surface is even, the cartoon is easily 
made, since the sheets of paper must be pasted together two and two or four 
and four, letting the edges overlap each other, about the width of the finger. The 
edges are then pasted with the brush, the cartoon is put in its place, and then 
the nails should be driven in, so that they will not get in the way afterwards 
by raising the edge. 

** But if the surface be concave and not cylindrical, (for this is the same as a 
flat surface), it is more difiicult, because each sheet has to be nailed in by itself, 
and even each half sheet, that it may be adjusted to the shape of the surface ; 
and care should be taken in pasting the edges, not to paste the cartoon to the 
surface, nor should the paste touch the wall, because, besides fixing the cartoon 
to the wall so as to tear it in taking it off, it is so prejudicial to paste the wall, 
especially if it be damp, that, when it is moistened, stains appear, which are 
visible when the punting is finished.' 



finished in order to keep it moist to the very edges. Afterwards the 
outlines should be marked over with a pointed black crayon, not very 
sharp, and the straight lines should be ruled, and if there are any 
circular curves, they should be drawn with a compass, with a piece 
of black crayon fastened to one foot of it. This outline should be 
indented so deeply, that when the black mark is obliterated by the 
repetition of the tints, the indented line will serve as a guide in 
painting. Anciently, and even in my recollection, the cartoon was 
not pricked, but when it was nailed to the wall, the outlines were 
marked over with the stick of a paint brush cut to a blunt point, 
with sufficient pressure to indent the stucco ; and this alone served 
for a mark, as may now be seen in the Palazzo del Pardo and other 
places, by a person who has eyes to see and fingers to feel, although 
I am far from saying that fresco paintings should be treated with 
disrespect ; that is, they should not be handled. In this manner 
were done those excellent cartoons in black and white on grey paper, 
which were always used, and which, after having been usetl, were 
held in great estimation by painters, as those of Michael Angelo, 
Rafifaelle, Annibale Caracci, and others, in Italy. But it was found 
that this tried the patience of the artist so much, that when he canie 
to the execution of the work, he shrunk from such immense labour. 
More especially when the labour is considered useless, for we have 
merely to pounce the outline, and mark it with the powdered char- 
coal, which practice, and that of marking over the outlines with 
black crayon, has been found in our time much more convenient, 
easy, and expeditious ; advantages not to be despised when they lead 
to greater perfection in the end, and do not tire the patience of the 
artist. A light and convenient palette has also been invented, com- 
posed of primed canvass, as we have mentioned in the chapter on 
distemper painting. 

The outhnes of the design having been completed in the way we 
have mentioned, the cartoon should be taken off gently, that the 
charcoal dust may not soil the colours which are to be laid on it, and 
after that the tarea (day's work) should be sprinkled with clean 
water from a large brush, which may be of bruised sedge ; for which 
purpose the painter should have a jar full of clean water, and a brush, 
which is only fit for sprinkling, and with this the wall is to be 
sprinkled, and not rubbed, because rubbing would efface the outline 
while it is so fresh ; and this will also be useful for sprinkHng it from 
time to time during the painting, especially in summer. And there 


should be also another jar full of water, widi a brush for moistening, 
and rubbing from time to time the part which has not been painted, 
that it may not dry. For after it has been left some time, a film or 
pellicle forms over the surface of the lime or stucco which fills up 
the pores, so that it does not absorb the colour which crumbles off 
like ashes ; and the tarea should be wetted, although the stucco does 
not dry, for if it should dry before it is finished, it would be useless 
and must be cut out, and the stucco must be again spread and the 
subject drawn on it again ; but the water in this second jar will not 
serve for sprinkling the part that is painted, because by rubbing the 
plaster with it, it takes up a little of the white, and if this were used 
for sprinkling, the picture would be spoiled. 

This is the process, supposing it fine weather ; for if it freezes, 
(which is the worst weather there can be for this kind of painting), 
the two vases of water should be put over the fire, that the water 
may be warm, and with that the surfeuse may be sprinkled or bathed, 
in the before-mentioned manner ; even the water that the mason 
uses should be warm. All this is necessary during a hard frost, for 
if the intonaco should freeze, it is the worst thing that can happen, 
as no absorption takes place, and the colours do not incorporate with 
the intonaco, but crumble off like ashes, as I know by experience ; 
and if all these means should not suffice, the work must be left till 
the weather is milder. 

Op the colours used. — Before we proceed further, the colours 
which are used in fresco painting may be briefly described. They 
are all mineral,*^ and some are calcined by means of fire. The mine- 
ral colours are. Light Ochre, Dark Ochre, Tierra Roxa, Albin, Pa- 
vonazo, Sombra de Venecia, Sombre del Viego, Tierra Verde, and 
Tierra Negra. Those made by means of fire, are Esmalte, Negro de 
Carbon, Burnt Ochre, Homaza, Burnt Roman Vitriol, and Vermilion. 
The best kind of Vermilion is the mineral or native Vermilion, but in 
uncovered places, neither the mineral nor the artificial is good for 

* Palomino means to say, that the colours consist of natural pigments only, 
but of these some merely require to be washed and ground, while others require 
to be calcined. All the nine pigments of the first class mentioned by the author 
contain more or less of iron, the other ingredients being silica, alumina, magnesia 
and manganese. These are the pigments, which, in all ages, from the Egyptians 
and Greeks, to the present time, have been found most permanent. 


anything, because in a few days both kinds return to the same 
colour they had in their natural state, which is a most vile and dirty 
purple. Therefore, in such places, and in those which are exposed 
to the inclemency of the weather, Vermilion should not be used at 
all, either the natural or the artificial. But in covered places, and 
those defended from the inclemency of the weather, it is a most 
beautiful pigment, and keeps its colour very well, as I myself have 
repeatedly experienced. And that it may keep its colour better, it 
should not be laid on the stucco itself, but the Tlerra Roxa should be 
used first, and over that the Vermilion ; making the colour light 
with white, and darkening it with Albin and Pavonazo, and in some 
very dark places adding Sombre del Viejo, or Tien a Negra, and it will 
be as fresh and beautiful as in oil painting. 

As to the Ochres, a person need not be afraid of using them ; it is 
only necessary to remark, that ochre which is not mixed with white, 
darkens much in drying ; although that kind which is called " de 
Coleteros"^ is more permanent and beautiful than that of Valencia ; 
Tierra Roxa has also the same property of growing darker. 

Albin and Pavonazo do not change colour, and they supply the 
place of carmine so well, that being used while the stucco is fresh, they 
have sometimes deceived people, who thought they were carmine. And 
I must tell you that Pavonazo is a degree lower in tone than Albin, 
and this is not sold in shops, but is obtained from the copper mines 
in the kingdom of Jaen ; and there and in all Andalusia, the painters 
and gilders esteem it much, and it is even sold under the name of 

The Sombre de Venecia is not to be depended on, because it loses 
force, and gets much lighter coloured in drying, appearing, while the 
stucco is fresh a fine colour, but the artist must beware of it, as it is 
a deceitful pigment. Therefore, whoever likes may use it, but I 
consider it as banished from this kind of painting, and in its place, 
I use the Sombre del Viejo, which is a most beautiful colour, and 
proper for all things, and as we possess this we shall not miss the 

The Tierra Verde which is also called Verde de Verona, is of an 
excellent colour, and if it did not lose its force so much in drying, 
would be invaluable. However, if used while the stucco is very fresh 
it keeps its colour better. And it should always be used for green 


* Coleteros — Those who made buff coats. ^ 




drapery, mixed with Verde Montima and a very little ochro, because, 
as the latter darkens and the former becomes lighter coloured in 
drying, it will be exactly the same colour as before, when dry. The 
Verde Montana cannot be used by itself in fresco, therefore I have 
not placed it among the colours used in fresco-painting, because, 
either it does not adhere to the lime, or if it does adhere it bums ;* 
however, the first defect may be remedied by using it with milk ; but 
when mixed with Tierra Verde, it keeps its colour well, and is very 
beautiful, especially if it is of that kind which is brought from Venice 
in pastilles, when it is called by some Verde Granilla, which is much 
better than what is sold here in powder. Homaza mixed with white 
may also be used for the lights in the green. And for the shadows 
in covered places, the Tierra Verde may be darkened with indigo and 
a Httle ochre or Sombra del Viejo. And if the situation be exposed 
to the air, it should be darkened with Negro de Carbon, or Sombra 
del Viejo, or Tierra Negra, which last is a most beautiful colour in 
every respect, especially if it be that which comes from Venice, and 
which we get in pellets. 

The blue is the ScyUa of this kind of painting ; but fortune has 
not given us our choice in this matter, obliging us to use Esmalte, 
which is in substance ground glass. This pigment may either be 
used by itself, or mixed with white, and if applied on the wet stucco, 
it adheres very well when used with lime-water. But if the painting 
is to be in an uncovered place, I do not think this a secure method 
of applying the colour, therefore it should be used with goat's milk ; 
and for the dark parts, for which the Esmalte alone would not be suf- 
ficient, Negro de Carbon may be used, and it may be finished with 
Tierra Negra. In covered situations, indigo may be used for the 
dark parts, but this colour should never be applied on the lime itself, 
, as it perishes ; and this is the reason why I have not classed it among 
i the colours used in fresco painting, because it is an intruder. I 
I know by experience, that either pure Esmalte, or Esmalte mixed with 
I indigo, with a little Tierra Verde, or of a blue stone which is called 
I Ignoto,^ adheres wonderfully well without milk. And in this man- 
ner may be made purple colours, mixing with the Esmalte instead of 
, carmine, Albin and Pavonazo in proper proportions; milk should be 

^ " Or destroys ;** the expression is used to denote the effect of the sun or frost 
on flowers. 

^ This word means unknown » See Treatise on Colours — Blue pigments. 


added to this also, to make it adhere firmly, especially in an exposed 

Of black pigments. — With respect to a black colour, that made 
of burnt oak wood (the bark having been previously taken off) well 
ground, is excellent if used while the stucco is wet, that it may hold 
firmly, for the Tierra Negra when mixed with the white of the lime 
is very grey, but the latter is better than the former for finishing the 
dark parts. 

Of white pigments. — We have now to speak of the white pig- 
ment which is used in fresco painting. This is made of the same 
lime as the stucco, but without sand, for which purpose the whitest 
quick lime in lumps is chosen ; this is slaked in a jar, (which in Cas- 
tile is called bono), pouring water on it from time to time, imtil it 
has lost all its causticity, stirring it well until it is thoroughly soaked 
and covered with soft water. And this must be managed in the same 
way as the stucco, taking off the peDicle on the surface every day, 
and this being done, soft water should again be poured over the lime 
in great abundance, and it should be again well beaten up, and so 
on every day for four months, if possible ; and as the length of time 
occupied in preparing this pigment is a great inconvenience, it will 
be proper for those who are accustomed to this kind of work, or even 
those who are not, to make it in large quantities ; and after it has 
been well purified, it may be kept either in pellets, or in a large jar, 
leaving it to dry. 

But before removing the water, the whole should be strained 
through a close horse hair sieve, resting the sieve on two sticks laid 
across the jar into which it is to be strained, and stirring about tlie 
thick liquid which is put into the sieve with a brush, that the fine 
parts may pass through, and tapping it on the outside from time to 
time, that the thick part which remains in the sieve may subside. And 
after it has been all strained in this maimer, it will be like milk ; it 
should then be left to settle, then the lime water should be poured 
off; preserving, however, enough for use, if you require it for any 
purpose, and pour it off gently, that it may not mix with the lime. 

But when it is required for use, the lime settled at the bottom of 
the jar should be taken out with a large wooden spoon, aud then the 
tints for the buildings, and other general tints, may be made of it in 
the same manner as the tints are made for painting in distemper. 


only with this difference, that the white, instead of being gypsum, 
should be of lime. For crimson, Albin or Pabonazo must be em- 
ployed, and to use these tints properly, it is not necessary to take 
them out with a spoon, but the colour in the vase should be pre- 
viously stirred with a brush, and while it is thus liquid, it should be 
put into the vase, which is to be held in the hands, for this kind of 
painting is all done by means of water. 

We have now to speak of the white paint for the palette, which 
may be a portion of the same lime, if it be mild, straining it again 
through a very close silk sieve, for which purpose it must be diluted 
with much water, otherwise it will not pass through, and even then 
it will be necessary to stir it with a brush, and then to remove the 
refuse from the sieve from time to time. The lime being sufiered to 
settle, there will be found in the bottom of the jar a white coagulum, 
which is to be used for the palette, taking it out with a spoon which 
is to be kept for this purpose only. 

But if the Blanco de cal (lime white) is of that kind which has 
been kept in pellets, or dried in a jar, in the manner we have pre- 
viously mentioned, it will be necessary to break it up, and to put 
water to it, and after it is well moistened, to grind it again on the 
stone with the muller. 

And if the Blanco de cal cannot be prepared in this way, on 
account of the length of time occupied in its preparation, it will be 
necessary to procure some pieces of the purest white marble, and 
break and grind them in an iron mortar. The powder is then to be 
sifted ; and after this it should, if possible, be ground in a small mill, 
which some, and myself among the number, keep for this purpose, 
as well as for grinding other colours in large quantities for these 
works, which is a very convenient practice. Some of this powder 
should be mixed with the lime-white, (bianco de cal) in the propor- 
tions of at least one part to three or four of the bianco de cal, and 
this is very suitable for flesh colours, draperies, flowers, and the most 
delicate things. And indeed, wherever this can be obtained it should 
be used, as it is of great importance, even if the lime be purified, 
although in this case, only one fourth, or even less, of the powdered 
marble should be used. 

Luca Giordano used this white pigpnent in whatever he painted, 
and he assured me that it is employed in the same manner throughout 
Italy. I must also inform you that, for want of marble, you may 
use alabaster, which gives a great firmness to the white, because. 



from the lime and marble is formed a kind of stucco, sach as is used 
by modellers in plaster, who with this imitate statues of marble, and 
other things, which deceive people by their touch, their lustre, their 
coldness, and their hardness. 

Op using the palette, brushes, &c. — These things being 
prepared, the colours being ground, and each put into its proper vase 
or saucer, with a spoon for each, in the manner described in the 
chapter on distemper painting, and supposing the palette unnecessary 
for general tints, which are prepared in the same way as those used 
in distemper painting, we are now going to treat of the use of the 
palette, which may consist of a piece of canvass of the length of a 
" vara"^ or at least three-fourths of a vara, because there will then 
be room to mix the tints with the brush, without their running one 
into another, and a sufficient quantity of each colour should be put 
on the palette at once, in fact more than is required, that the colour 
may not dry too soon, and it should even be sprinkled with water 
from time to time. For cleaning the palette when necessary, the 
painter should have a sponge as large as his fist, with which, being 
moistened, the palette should be thoroughly cleaned, and the dirty 
water should be suffered to run into a large glazed jar full of water, 
which is held in the hand, and which serves for this purpose, as well 
as for washing the pencils when the colour is to be changed. There 
should also be another jar of clean water to dip the pencil in, in order 
to moisten and dilute the colours and the tints which are made, 
although this may be dispensed with, by not dipping the pencil to 
the bottom of the other jar, where all the colours washed off the 
palette or out of the brushes settle. Thus provided, and with a good 
stock of large brushes and pencils of the same hair,** (which are the 
only kind of brushes that can be used in fresco painting, because the 
lime bums all others, except those made of the hair of young hogs, 
which are useful for some small dehcate purposes), the painter may 
begin to paint, putting in first the back ground or skies, which are 
behind the figures, and he must always observe this order, beginning 
with the more distant objects and approaching gradually until at 
length he reaches the figure or figures in the foreground. For the 
contrary practice would cost him immense labour, from his having to 

* A Vara is about three feet English. 

^ That is, of hogs' hair. See Palomino, vol. II, p. 42. 





observe all the outlines, nor would the aerial perspective be well kept, 
nor the outlines properly preserved. 

I should also inform the fresco painter, that he should not paint 
all the tarea at once, but only what he can complete at one sitting 
quickly, for having once began to paint any part it must not be left 
until it is quite finished, because, if it dries, the subsequent 
paintings will not unite well with, or match the first, except a few 
fine dark touches (or hatchings), in some parts. But if the work is 
commenced late in the day, and the weather is dry, it should 
be sprinkled from time to time vdth a briish dipped in clean 
water, and the surface of the stucco should be moistened by 
rubbing with the other brush ; and indeed in dry and hot weather, it 
will be well for the painter, who begins his work late, before he 
commences, to wash it with the before mentioned handful of flax, 
tied up in a linen cloth, (which should be well moistened) and with 
some of the same stucco, by which means the sand is disturbed, and 
the pores of that which is already spread are opened. If, in doing 
this, the outhnes of the drawing are very much disturbed, they 
must be marked over again ; and the same may be done in winter, 
especially if the weather be damp, in order to finish it the next day, if 
anything remains to be done. 

Op laying on thb flesh colour. — As to the flesh, after it is 
outUned with Tierra Roxa or Pabonazo and ochre, the painter should 
put over it a general middle tint of flesh colour, which must be after- 
wards lowered in the shadowed parts, using for this purpose a tint 
made of Esmalte and Tierra Verde, adding ochre and white and red, 
> according to the colour required. Very good tints for the shadows 
can be made also with Tierra Roxa and green, finishing them with 
Sombra and Albin, and if the shadows require greater depth with 
Tierra Negra and Pabonazo. And I must inform you that if the 
painting is not left to repose, the tints may be united as in oil paint- 
ing, when the colour is discharged from the brush or pencil. And 
even without washing the brush, it may be moistened with water and 
shaken, and the tints may be united and softened very well with it. 
It will be better to do this with a small and very soft brush. But 
the painter will adapt the size of the brushes to the proportions 
of the pictures and the size of the figures, and in this manner will 
be formed a perfect style with an impasto equal to that in oil paint- 
ing, without that excessive labour which prevailed in the ancient 
manner, where every part was hatched like a miniature. 


And here I may mention that after having laid on the first colour- 
ing of the flesh, which afterwards serves as a sketch, Homaza may he 
used, mixing it with white and red, and even with Tierra Verde and 
vermilion for the reflections of some shadows, and it is a most soft 
and sweet colour, and is excellent for giving the flesh a good tint ; 
but it should not be used on the bare stucco, but over another colour, 
to beautify the tints, and should never be exposed to the inclemency 
of the weather ; and it is to be used in the same manner in painting 
light yellow draperies, which are to be laid on a ground of ochre and 
white. The Vetriolo-quemado is also very good for darkening some 
of the carnations and red draperies ; but it is not one of the most 
essential colours, since we possess burnt ochre and the other reds. 

Op rbtouchino. — We have now only to speak of retouching 
fresco paintings when necessary ; because, truly it will be all the 
better if it be not necessary. This is done, especially if it be in an 
exposed situation, with the same colours which are used in fresco 
painting, mixed with goat's milk, although in case of necessity, 
these may be used diluted with water, and in this manner all that 
requires it, may be retouched, especially the joinings of the tareas. 
The blues (jssmdUe) should be painted over entirely in secco, unless 
they have been already done in fresco. And in covered situations 
even the Azul verde and Azul fino which is called de Santo Domingo 
may be used, but never in fresco, which destroys them. Nor can 
ultramarine be used in fresco, because the lime causes it to become 
pale, so that there is no distinguishing the light parts from the dark, 
therefore in a covered situation, after having laid the Esmalte on the 
fresco, ultramarine may be laid over it with goat's milk, not using 
the Blanco de cal, but a mixture of white lead and talc white* in 
equal quautities, ground together ; and the white will be much 
better if made of egg shells alone, well ground up ; but I must tell 
you that it cannot be used with gum or glue, because the lime 
weakens them both. I have heard that Jordan ^ used a tempera of 

* Blanco de Espejuelo — A sort of mixture in fine mortar, that glitters on the 
walls when the sun shines on it. — Pineda^s Dictionary. 

^ Luca Giordano ; horn at Naples in 1632. He applied himself to painting 
almost from infancy, and from constant practice acquired such rapidity and fa- 
cility of execution, that he retained through life the soubriquet of '< Zuca fa 
presto" which had been given him by his companions when a child. .Palomino 
says he did as much in a day as others do in a week. He painted in fresco at 



egg to retouch some places where the salt-petre had appeared ; but I 
have not tried this, although I should.think it good if no milk could 
be obtained. 

I must not omit informing you that the ancients gave the intonaco 
a couch of a general tint of white and Tierra Roxa before beginning 
to paint, that the surface might be smooth and polished ; and even 
after having finished their painting with that labour which may be 
seen in the minute feathered style of their paintings, they placed 
upon it a large sheet of paper, and over that they polished the 
fresco, until it was smooth and even. Although this appears need- 
less and useless, and may easily be dispensed with, I do not consider 
it a bad plan, to please the vulgar with this appearance of finish, 
since the painter should endeavour to adapt his picture to all classes 
of spectators. For as the Apostle says, *' I am a debtor to the wise 
and to the ignorant." And all should be paid in their own coin. It 
is for this reason that I said fresco paintings were to be treated with 
care, and placed at such a distance that they can only be enjoyed 
by the sight without being profaned by the touch. 

Op porbshortbning, &c. — It will not be a digression if I now 
point out to the reader the diflerence between historical paintings on 
ceilings, and those which are painted parallel to our sight, or per- 
pendicular to the horizon ; although if ^he first mentioned historical 

Rome, with Pietro da Cortona. He went to Spain in 1692, where he painted a 
great number of pictures both in fresco and oil. He began and finished all the 
frescoes in the Escurial in two years. Bermudez gives a list of 196 pictures 
by him, dispersed among the churches and palaces of Spain. He repaired, and 
almost repainted, the frescoes by Rizi and Carreno in the church of San Antonio 
de los Portugeses which had suffered much from damp. His fertility of inven- 
tion was so inexhaustible and his facility of execution so prodigious that he would 
begin and finish a picture in a day, and counted his paintings by hundreds. 

He was the last of that magnificent generation of painters who had followed 
the masters of Raffaello in Italy and his disciples in Spain. He had a multitude 
of pupils who could not imitate him in his perilous course : all remained behind, 
and the most celebrated among them did not rise above mediocrity, and were but 
the imitators of the imitator. Luca Giordano had destroyed at the impulse, as 
it were, of a fatal facility of invention and of hand, the last entrenchments of art ; 
he left but a chaos behind him, and his name will remain as the solemn demon- 
stration of this truth, that, besides natural talents, two qualities of the head and 
heart are necessary for an artist, reflection and dignity. — Viardotf Notices f 8cc, 


paintings are executed in compartments with their frames or mould- 
ings either real or counterfeit, they may be conducted in the usual 
manner. But if they are to be painted on concave surfaces, in ovals, 
in which we will suppose the story or event is actually to be painted, 
and not to be merely placed there after having been painted in 
another place, it is necessary that the figures should be foreshortened, 
as if they were seen from the feet upwards ; although the point of 
sight should be in the centre of the picture, that the foreshortening 
may not appear too violent. For this purpose it is necessary to 
imagine that the scenes represented in these pictures take place in 
the air, and sometimes even on the clouds, for as we look at them 
from below, if they were represented on a regular pavement, the 
pavement would conceal them from our view, imless the figures were 
placed on the very edge, as for instance on steps. In doing which, 
it will be necessary particularly to attend to the perspective. We 
may add, that the model or figure, to be copied, being put on the 
table, the painter, standing either in the middle, or on one side of it, 
or above or below, as required, should copy it exactly as it appears 
to him : then, the drawing being raised in the air, above the eye, 
it will appear as if the person who drew it had looked at it while raised 
in the air. I should not omit to add that these paintings on vaults 
or ceilings should be looked upon with some allowance, for the artist 
cannot always produce the effect he wishes, on account of the great 
labour and inconvenience with which they are executed ; and some- 
times they cannot be seen from a sufficient distance on account of the 
smallness of the scaffold ; and if any one asserts the contrary, it 
must be because he has not found himself in this predicament ; and 
let the painter be very careful not to paint from the top towards the 
bottom, that which is to be viewed from the bottom towards the top, 
especially in concave places, or he wiU find himself deceived. 

Of skbtghbs for a cupola. — It is proper to mention another 
thing, which perhaps those who are accustomed to these works 
will deem important, which is, the mode of making the sketches for 
a cupola, if they cannot be made on a concave surface, which they 
should be when possible. It is as follows : considering the length 
of the circumference as equal to three times the diameter and one 
seventh pait more, tbat is, that the proportion of the diameter to the 
circumference is as seven to twenty- two. Having ascertained this, 
we may draw this line on a piece of flat canvass, or paper, of suifi- 


cient size, and give it a height, in the middle, of one-fourth of the 
circumference of the circle whose diameter is equal to the aforesaid 
line, and from the extremities of this line to the above mentioned 
height, draw a curved, line in the form of a portion of a circle ; and 
in the space contained by these two curved lines, draw your sketch, 
which will prove admirably adapted for the situation, considering the 
highest part of the said figure (which is the middle), to be the top 
of the cupola. 

Of constructing scaffolds. — It is also proper to speak of the 
way of constructing scaffolds, so as to admit the light. They should 
be made smaller than the cornice of the astragal of the cupola, by 
at least half a vara, and the same distance from the projection 
of the cornice. In the middle, should be left an aperture or vacancy 
of a proper size upon which should be raised another fixed scaffold, 
leaving the space of seven feet only between its surfiace and the 
centre of the cupola. 

There should also be a ladder of the same height as this scaffold, 
which should be movable, and capable of being turned all round it, 
and, if desirable, some planks may be laid across, from the scaffold to 
the ladder, for which purpose it must be of the same height as the 
second scaffolding, and this is used for the concave part of the 
cupola. Scaffolds for painting arched rooh are made in the same 
way, except that in the middle, there should be a portable scaffold on 



The following extract is taken from a manuscript in Sir John 
Soane's Museum, which was purchased at the sale of J. Jackson, Esq., 
R.A., in 1831. It was written by John Martin, and is dated 1699. 
The original spelling is retained. 

Frbscob, or painting ON WALLS. — I. — In painting on walls, 
to make it endure the weather, you must grind your colours with 
lime water, milk, or whey, mixed in size colour-pots. II. — 
Then paste or plaister must be made of well- washed lime, mixt with 
powder of old rubbish stones :* the lime must be often washed till fine 
all its salt is abstracted ; and all your work must be done in clear 
and dry weather. III. — ^To make the work endure strike into the 
wall stumps of headed nails, about five or six inches asunder, and 
by this means you may preserve the plaister from peeling. IV. — 
Then, with the paste, plaister the wall a pretty thickness, letting 
it dry (but scratch the first coat with the point of your trowell) 
longways, and crossways as soon as you have done laying on what 
plaister or paste you think fit, that the next plaistering you lay upon 
it may take good key and not come off, nor part from the first coat 
or plastering, and when the first coate is dry, plaister it over again 
with the thickness of half a barley com, very fine and smooth, then your 
colours being already prepared, work this last plaistering over with the 
said colours in what draught »» or de — you please, (History, &c.) 

* It will be observed that the author recommends ** powder of old rubbish- 
stones" and " ox -hairs'' to be mixed with the lime for the arricciato. As this was 
not the practice of the Italian or Spanish schools, or at least as it is mentioned 
by none of the writers on fresco painting whose works are here translated, 
it seems probable that the art of fresco painting was still occasionally practised 
in England by artists unacquainted with the practice of the foreign schools. 

^ So in the original manuscript. 


SO will your painting write and joyn fast to the plaister, and dry 
together as a perfect compost. Note, your first coate of plaister or 
paste must be very hair'd with ox-hair in it, or else your work 
will crack quite through the second coate of plaistering ; and will 
spoil all your painting that you paint upon the second coate of 
plaistering ; but in the second coate that is laid on of paste, or 
plaister, there must be no hair in it at all, but made thus, — mix or 
temper up with well- washed lime, fine powder of old rubbish stones 
(called finishing stuff) and sharp grit sand, as much as you shall 
have occasion for, to plaister over your first coat, and plaister it all 
very smooth and even, that no roughness, hills, nor dales be seen, 
nor scratches of your trowell. The best way is to float the second 
coat of plaistering thus, after you have laid it all over the first coat 
with your trowell as even and smooth as possibly you can. Then 
take a float made of wood very smooth, about one foot long and 
seven or eight inches wide, with a handle on the upper side of it to 
put your hand into, to float your work withall, and this will make 
your plaistering to lye very even, and lastly with your trowell you 
may make the said plaistering as smooth as may be. V. — In 
painting be nimble and free, let your work be bold and strong, but be 
sure to be exact, for there is no alteration after the first painting, and 
therefore heighten your paint enough at first, you may deepen at 
pleasure. VI. — All earthly colours are best, as the Okers, Spanish- 
white, Spanish-brown, Terra- vert, and the like ; mineral colours are 
naught. VII. — Lastly, let your pencils and brushes be long and 
soft, otherwise your work will not be smooth, let your colours be 
full, and flow freely from the pencil or brush ; and let your design 
be perfect at first, for in this, there is no after alteration to be 














The ancient pictures called frescoes, in the Campo Santo at Pisa, 
are painted on the wall on an intonaco of Hme and very fine sand, in 
that maimer which is called " fresco." It appears, at least as far as 
we can judge, that here (in Pisa) the intonaco was not laid on in such 
quantities only, as could he painted in one day, which is called 
" true fresco," and which is very durable and firm. Our old artists 
in fact were acquainted with no other modes of painting, than the 
fresco much used by the ancients, and that of using wax dissolved in 
essential oil. The other mode, of mixing the colours with tempera 
on canvass, primed with gesso, and stretched upon hard boards, con- 
tinued until the time of the celebrated Fleming, John Van Eyck, 
called Giovanni di Bruges, about the year 1410. — II. Pisa, Illust, by 
Morr(ma,p. 192. 

" It will be proper to repeat here the observations on the manner 
of painting on walls in fresco, adopted by the artists of these times 
(about 1485), suggested by the examination of pieces of the intonaco 
which had fallen from the wall. It is astonishing that they should 


have sketched the the subject with a pencil dipped in red, on the wall 
covered with the arricciato, and that they should afterwards have 
covered their work over with the intonaco. The reason given for 
this by Vasari is not satisfactory ; he says, that this method was the 
cartoon used by the old masters for painting in fresco with greater 
expedition, &c. We shall see now whether I can more nearly assign 
the true cause of this proceeding. — 

" I observe in the first place, that they drew the subject on a large 
scale on the wall, enlarging from the small design on which they had 
embodied their ideas, and that they sketched in this manner the 
whole composition of the picture, in order to see the effect of the 
proportions when enlarged, and to correct the errors. Then it is 
probable that they traced the outlines, drawn with red, on to paper, 
which formed the cartoon mentioned by Vasari. This then being 
applied upon the intonaco composed of lime and fine sand, and on 
the levigated and smooth surface, corresponds with the drawing 
beneath ; and if this be not the case in every part, it probably arose 
from some variation made by the painters, on the cartoons, or on the 
wall itself." — //. Pisa, Illust, 224, Cennino c. 67, and see II, Rep, 
24, 25. 

" Simon Memmi had also begun in the middle of the fagade of 
the great refectory of the convent, many small historical pictures, 
and also a crucifixion in the form of a cross, which remained imper- 
fect, being merely drawn as may be seen even now, with pencil 
dipped in rosaccio upon the arricciato ; this mode of painting served 
instead of a cartoon to some of our old masteis, in order to enable 
them to paint with more expedition, because, having marked out all 
their work upon the arricciato, they drew it with a pencil, copying 
from a small design all that they intended to paint, and enlarging it 
in the proportion required for the picture. There are also many 
pictures in other places drawn in the same manner as this picture, 
and many others that have been painted, from which the painting has 
scaled off, leaving the design in rosaccio still visible." — Vasari, Vol. 
IL p. 177, and see Lanzi, Vol, I, p. 31. 

The following extract shews a curious contrivance for preserving 
punted ceilings from being injured by damp : " Earthen vases are 
placed under the roofs of the churches of S. Erculino and S. Martino, 
in Milan, in order to preserve the ceiling from being injured by 
damp." Morelli, Notizie d*opere di disegno. p. 41. "In the 


Archiepiscopal Conrt (Milan), and in St. Znan de Gonca (Milan), 
the ancient pictures in fresco, which to this day shine like looking 
glasses, were by the hands of old masters." *' The pictures in the 
Castle (Pavia), in fresco, were by the hand of Pisano, they are so 
smooth and shining, that, as Cesarino writes, you may see your face 
in them." •— /rf.43, 46. 

Frbparation of cartoons. — ^Tlie following extracts show the im- 
portance attached by painters to the carefiil preparation of cartoons. 

" It is said, that, on Perino del Vaga's arrival at Genoa, Girolamo 
da Trevisi, who was painting one fetce of it (the D*oria Palace), which 
fronted the garden, had arrived there before him in order to paint 
certain things ; and while Perino began to make the cartoon for the 
historical picture of the shipwreck, and while he was enjojdng him- 
self very leisurely, and seeing all that was worth seeing at Genoa, 
he continued preparing the cartoon more or less industriously, so 
that a great part of it was already finished and the naked figures 
drawn, some in chiaro-scuro, others with charcoal and lapis nero, 
others only hatched and outlined ; while, I say, Perino was going on 
in this way, not even beginning his picture, Girolamo da Trevisi 
was murmuring against him, saying, " What is all this about the 

• The words of Cesariano, (Commentary on Vitnivius, p. 115) when treating 
of painting in fresco, are these, "While it is yet fresh we can, as Yitruvins says, 
dispose this composition of lime to receive splendor and bhlliancy ; like the old 
pictures in the Archiepiscopal Curia, in Sancto Joanne in Concha, in Milan, 
also in Pavia, and especially in this Castile, where the noble Pisano painted, and 
also in Placentia, in paintings by Antonio del Carro.'' 

Morelli supposes this Pisano was Vittore Pisano Veronese, otherwise called 
Pisanello, who painted in many cities in Italy, at the end of the fourteenth 
century. These pictures in the castle of Pavia are mentioned in the foUovnng 
terms, in the history of that city by Breventano, written in 1570; *' The halls 
and chambers, as well above as below, are all vaulted, and almost all painted 
vnth various fine historical and other paintings ; the sky or roof is coloured with 
very fine azure, in which seem to move a variety of animals in gold, such as lions, 
leopards, tigers, hounds, stags, vrild boars, and others, especially in that part 
which faces the Parco, (which, as we have said, was ruined by the artillery of 
Francis, on the 4th of September, 1527), in which was seen a large saloon sixty 
bracda long and twenty wide, covered with beautiful historical paintings which 
were perfect in my days, and which represented hunting and fishing, and tilting 
parties, with various sports of the dukes and duchesses of this state." Morelli, 
Notizie, p. 180. These extracts should be compared with the observations of 
Guevara and Alberti relative to the shining surfaces of ancient pictures. 


cartoons ; I, for my part, have the whole art at the point of my 
paint hrush." And as he frequently gromhled in this manner, it 
came to the ears of Perino, who, being angry aboat it, immediately 
caused his cartoon to be fixed up in the ceiling, where the picture 
was to be painted ; and having, in many places, removed tlie planks 
of the scaffolding, in order that it might be seen from below, he 
opened the room to the public ; when this was known every one in 
Genoa went to see it, and being astonished at the excellent design 
of Perino, he acquired immortal celebrity. Girolamo da Trevisi went 
there among others, and when he saw the work of Perino, which so 
much exceeded his expectations, being alarmed at the effects its 
beauty might have on his own reputation, he left Genoa, without 
asking leave of the Prince D'oria, and returned to Bologna, where 
he hved. So Perino alone remained with the Prince, and finished 
this room, painting in oil upon the wall. It is considered, as it 
ought to be, a work quite unique for its beauty, there being, as I 
have said, in the middle of the ceiling, and even under the lunettes, 
most beautiful stuccoes." — Vasari, Life of Perino del Vaga. 

" You ask whence it is, that a painter, who has several manners, 
in a sketch sometimes observes one manner, and sometimes uses 
several ; although afterwards, in finishing the picture he adopts one 
only. I answer, that this happens according to the degree of enthu- 
siasm with which the painter applies himself to the sketch. "When 
the conception of the work, which is to be executed in this or that 
manner, is already formed in the mind ; if then the painter springs 
impatiently to his sketch, to finish it at once, it becomes more 
uniform in that one manner, in which he intends to paint his picture, in 
perfect concordance with that genius, which at first caused him to 
conceive and compose it. For example ; Correggio thought of re- 
presenting the nativity of our Lord in that sacred night scene,^ and 
setting about it, with that spirited and effective vigour which cha- 
racterised him, composing the embryo all at once, in the first sketch, 
he left the whole finished in that one manner and that one tone of 
colouring, which he had determined on, for painting the entire 
picture. In this manner is made that real and incontestibly original 
sketch, in the hands of that good painter and dilettante. Signer 

* This picture is now in the Gallery at Dresden, and ia engraved in the second 
volume of the pictures of that Gallery. It has been varnished, with more harm 
than advantage to the Painting. 


Giuseppe Ghezzi; which throws doubts on the authenticity of 
another small one, which, at Reggio di Modena, was shown, as a 
great favour, by torch light, to Signer Passeri, and to myself ; par- 
ticularly as the style of this, is very inferior to that of the 
large picture, although the figures are exactly the same ; while in 
that belonging to Sig. Ghezzi, the figures are in somewhat different 
attitudes, but the style is in exact conformity with that of Correggio 
in the large picture. He adopted the same method in the first 
sketch on canvass, of the height of four palms, of the Assumption in 
the Duomo di Parma. He conceived a splendid apparition of 
heavenly glory, by which the Blessed Virgin might ascend to heaven, 
and as if too impatient to take the trouble of drawing his design with 
the matita, he sketched that Assumption with oil colours, with the 
tone and style of colouring which he intended to use in his picture ; 
although he afterwards completed the design for this principal group 
of the Assumption, as far as related to the design, with separate 
studies drawn with pencil (matita). I have three of these originals 
with the Madonna herself surroimded with a crowd of angels, and 
have caused them to be engraved, as well as other parts of the 
same cupola." — Lett. Pitt, Vol, 3. p. 327, 330. Sebastiano Resta 
to N, N. 

" The only difficulty he (Annibale Carracci) ever had was some- 
times in kneehng attitudes, which embarrassed him, and which he 
designed ungracefully; this they say was the case with the San 
Giacinto in the Church of S. Domenico ; and also with the Angel in 
the picture of the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin in S. Pietro, 
who looks very uncomfortable, for Annibale did not bestow proper 
care in the arrangement of his cartoon (if indeed he did so at all), 
and in giving it exactness by means of the Graticola.^ Not so with 
Agostino who they say was even more correct than Annibale ; it 
being his practice never to regard trouble, but only to give himself 
satisfaction. I find that it was his custom, to overcome all the 
difficulties at first by making separate sketches of each part, and 
each object that was to enter into the picture, until he had cleared 
every doubt, and overcome all impediments, that then putting the 
whole together he formed a very complete and perfect design (which 

* Namely — proportional squares, or rete. 


was sometimes painted in oil, with white lead for the lights) from 
which he did not depart in the slightest degree, in the execution of 
his picture; and he painted in this ihanner rapidly, withoat 
hesitation, and with great tranquillity, which may be clearly seen in his 
picture of the Nativity, in the picture of the Children in St Bartho- 
lomew, in that of the Ftight at Sampieri, and in many others. And 
this is the true method, although idle persons may say that making 
so many designs is a tedious operation which fatigues the mind, and 
causes weakness in the execution of the picture, and that it is an 
unnecessary labour which is quite thrown away, and that it is better 
to make the design on the picture itself. I have never seen any 
picture of Annibale, or even of Ludovico, without having had it in 
my power to see the designs, either before or after having seen the 
picture, and they were as elaborate and highly finished, as I said 
those of Agostino were. This may be easily observed in the famous 
collections of their most serene Highnesses of Tuscany and Modena ; 
at Rome, in the collection of the learned Bellori ; at Bologna, in the 
collections of the Buonfigliuoli, Pasinelli, Negri, Polazzi, and in my 
own collection." — Malv. Feh, Pitt. Vol, /. p. 484. 

The following anecdote shews that large paintings were sometimes 
successfully executed in fresco without cartoons. 

" But those who were not acquainted with his (Csesare Baglioni) 
witty and facetious character would have been very likely to have 
thought him silly, and this actually happened to him the first time 
that he was called to Parma, to paint some of the rooms of the ducal 
palace there, when he was observed by the other painters to pass 
his time as joyfully, and to think no more about the work, than 
if it had been play, while they were working so hard at theirs. 
They, as they ought to do, made many sketches, and forming from 
them a perfect design, prepared from it a cartoon. They then set 
the cartoon against the place the picture was to occupy, and 
observing whether it suited, they corrected and adjusted it ; while 
he, laughing and sneering at these preparations of theirs, which he 
called impediments and annoyances, after playing his flute, boasted 
that he would begin to scratch the lime at once with a nail without 
so many sketches and drawings. And it being therefore believed, 
and told to the Duke, that he was no less siUy than rash, the Duke 
sent for him, and asked him what his intentions were, and whether 
he chose to paint his two rooms or not. He replied that he had 
come there for no other purpose than to obey his Highness, and as 


his Highness seemed to shew a desire to he served quicker than he 
expected, or than there was any need of, he would satisfy him hy 
shewing him the next day one entire wall painted over ; when the 
painters said this was impossihle, he replied that if he did not do it, 
they might drive him out of the court as a cheat and a scoundrel. 
So Baglione having sent quickly for a plasterer, and ordered him 
to plaster the wall, painted it in the following manner. He colored 
in grey a hroad and plain margin all round the wall, and had the 
rest white- washed, and then painted a curtain, to cover up the empty 
space, with all its folds, shades, and creases, like one of those 
curtains which cover up the stage in a theatre until the time for 
reciting the play ; then in one of the upper comers, he painted the 
head and hands of a lahourer, who seemed to he fastening from the 
inside the said curtain to a large nail. When therefore the Duke 
and the other painters, heing impatient to see what he had done 
in so short a time, came into the room, they were quite astonished 
at finding that they had heen laughed at ; hut on the other hand 
they were surprised at the head and hands which were so well 
painted, that they proved him to be an excellent painter, whilst 
these persons, full of astonishment, did not know what to think 
or say, unless that he was making fiin of them, which indeed the 
Duke seemed to hint. He told his Highness not to doubt but that 
in proper time the curtain, would be let down and all that was under 
it would be shewn, which, with the whole work, would be com- 
pleted to his Highnesses satisfaction, and that he had played this 
trick to laugh at those other painters, who were so long about their 
work, and who completely puzzled themselves with it, which was a 
manifest sign that nature had not intended them for that art, and 
that therefore the more they labored at it, the less skill they would 
have in it ; that painting in fresco demanded quickness and freedom 
of hand, without which it was no use attempting it. And he gave 
such good reasons for this, that he satisfied his Highness, who could 
not help praising Baglione for the jocose, and at the same time wise 
manner, which he had adopted for preserving his freedom of hand 
and practice, which he knew to be the most valuable part of his art. 
Baglione afterwards finished that room in eight days. He soon 
after finished the next room, and acquitted himself so well, and gave 
so much pleasure not only by his good painting, but also by his good 
humour and joviality, that his Highness retained him in his service, 



with a salary of ten scudi corti of that coinage per month, and hi? 
board, and appointed him his painter." — Malvasia. Felsina Pittrice, 
vol. I. p. 340, 341. 

But if such instances are rare, it is still rarer to find painters who 
painted the pictures first and drew the cartoons afterwards, yet that 
this was the case we find from the following anecdote of Lorenzo 

" He, (Lorenzo Garbieri) was of a rather warm temperament, and 
sometimes too much so, and was therefore quick in invention, and 
quicker still in execution ; he had not the patience to make sketches 
or designs which are extremely rare, by his hand ; but when he was 
obliged to make some for any one, whom he could not refuse, he 
generally copied them from the picture, which he had previously 
painted and finished, and these he shaded and finished highly, laying 
gold and silver on the lights, in the same manner as those which he 
sent to Rome, as a present to his friend the Cardinal Giustiniani, as 
he had already done with those which he had painted in the Capella 
di S. Carlo, Bologna, in order to gain the Cardinal's friendship. He 
therefore desired with great, though reasonable earnestness, however 
distant the opportunity might seem, to execute some immense 
painting in fresco, in which he could, for once, (as he used to say) 
gratify his whims and his caprice, certain, however, that, being ren- 
dered more patient by his age, and more cautious by experience, he 
should not fall into that immoderate fury, which is seen and ad- 
mired, in his Prophets and Sybils, in the first ceiling of the Capella 
della Morte, owing to the figures being drawn off hand, (as they call 
it), on the picture itself without cartoons, though it is otherwise 
very well designed, and with freedom, and wonderful colouring ; his 
usual severity being softened down by the wet lime, which he was 
obliged to use instead of priming, and the vehicle being water, in- 
stead of the colours being mixed with oil." — Malv. Fels, Pitt. vol. 
II. p. 305. 


Thb following extracts relate to Painting. The first extract, 
referring to Giotto's method of painting flesh in fresco, should be 
compared with Cennino's account of the process. The passage 


(which is from Vasari) is not clearly expressed in the Italian ; it 
will be better understood by comparing it with the extract from 
Malvasia's Felsina Pittrice immediately following. It is almost un- 
necessary to observe, that neither Vasari nor Malvasia describe 
accurately the method of painting flesh practised by Giotto, as 
described by Cennino. 

" He, (Parri Spinelh) coloured very well in distemper, and perfectly 
in fresco ; and he was the first, who left off, in fresco painting, laying 
verdaccio under the flesh colours, and glazing them afterwards with 
flesh coloured reds, and cMaro scuro as in painting with water colours 
in the manner of Giotto and the other old painters. On the con- 
trary, Parri used solid colours in making the mixtures and tints, lay- 
ing them judiciously in their proper places, namely, the lighter tints 
for the most prominent parts, the middle tints for the general colours 
of the flesh, and the dark tints on the extremities of the outhnes. 
With this manner of painting, he showed greater facility in his 
pictures, and gave great durability to his fresco paintings, because, 
having put the colours in their proper places, he united them together 
^th a brush that was rather large and soft, and so well did he 
execute his pictures that one would never wish to see better, and his 
colouring is unequalled." — Vasari, Life of SpineUi. 

" While painting in oil, it was his (Tiarini's) custom, never to mix 
the colours together with the knife, or on the palette, but to mix 
them touch by touch and stroke by stroke, with paint brushes for 
the most part hard and scanty, always dipping them in the same 
colour. He used to pride himself for this, and laugh at the others, 
especially Guido, whom he described, as if in derision, as one of those 
Painters who did not know how to paint without first making the mix- 
tures and compounding them together. He glazed his drapery very 
much; not only the reds with lake, but also the yellows with Giallo 
Santo, the greens with Giallo Santo and ultramarine, and sometimes 
even the blues, with verdigris, or Verde Etemo; so that I have some- 
times seen his pictures painted at first entirely with white lead and 
bone black, as if sketched, and then covered all over with colour, 
being painted and finished, so as to appear as if covered with a veil, 
as I observed to be the manner of some of the more ancient painters, 
and, as Vasari relates of Giotto, that he adopted this practice even in 
painting figures in fresco and in the flesh colour, which he sketched 

. I 


with a certain F'erdaccio, and then covered th^m over with glazings of 
flesh coloured red, and with cMaro scuro, in the same way as in 
water colours ; this custom, adds Vasari, was afterwards dropped, 
and painters began to paint with body colours, making the mixtures 
thick. Except in these glazings, he always abstained from liquid 
colours ; and as with Schiavone, it was also his custom to let the 
colours sometimes dry on the palette and then to use them hard in 
that manner, because the colours then remained fresh, and with a 
good body, and for this reason his early pictures which have as it 
were been painted twice over, and with a good ground underneath, 
withstand so much better the injuries of time, than those of other 
painters."— Ma/r. Fels, Pitt. vol. II. p. 206, 207. 

The following are instances of good and rapid painting in fresco 
buono, shewing the value always attached to such as were painted 
without retouching in fresco, and the advantages of rapid execution. 

" Michael Angelo at first (in 1508) refused to paint the ceiling of 
the Sistine Chapel, wishing to refer the commission to Raflaello ; but 
being obliged to accept it, and being unaccustomed to painting in 
fresco, he sent to Florence for some of the best fresco painters, 
in order to assist, or ratjier to teach him the art ; then he obliterated 
what they had done and commenced the work alone. Having com- 
pleted one half, he opened it to public inspection for a short time. 
Then he began the other half, and proceeded more slowly than was 
agreeable to the impatience of the Pope, (Giulio II.) who threatened 
him, if he did not make more haste with the work, he would throw 
him off the scaffolding. He finished the remaining part alone in 
twenty months. Alone I say, because his taste was so refined that 
no one could satisfy it, and as in sculpture, every file and every 
chisel that he used, he made with his own hand ; so in painting, he 
not only made the tints and other necessary preparations and arrange- 
ments, but he ground the colours himself, not trusting to artists or 
boys. In this chapel are those grand and varied figures of prophets 
and sybils, of which Lomazzo, an impartial judge, because he be- 
longed to anotjier school, said he considered to be the best in the whole 
world." — Lanzi. vol. I. p. 114. 

Vasari's account of the painting of the same chapel is more 
circumstantial ; it is as follows : — 


• " Pope Julius was very desirous of seeing the works that he 
(Michael Angelo) was ptdnting ; and his curiosity was the greater 
because they were concealed from him. And so one day he deter- 
mined to go and see the chapel, but it was not opened to him, 
because Michael Angelo would not show it. On this account there 
arose a quarrel, so that Michael Angelo was obliged to leave Rome, 
not choosing to show it to the Pope, because, as he told me himself, 
when the third part of it was finished, there began to appear on it a 
certain mouidiness one winter while the north wind was blowing. 
The cause of this was that the Ex>man lime being white, and made 
from travertine, does not dry so quickly, and when mixed with 
Pozzolana, which is of a tan colour, makes a dark mixture. If this 
mixture be liquid, and watery, and the wall be thoroughly wetted, it 
frequently effloresces as it dries. This was the case, in the present 
instance, for in many places the salt effloresced, although in lapse of 
time the air consumed it. Michael Angelo was very much disturbed 
by this circumstance, and would not go on with the work, and when 
he excused himself to the Pope saying, that he could not succeed 
with it, his Holiness sent to him Giuliano da San Gallo, who, 
having explained the cause of it, encouraged him to go on with the 
work, and taught him how to get rid of the mouidiness. Having 
thus half finished it, the Pope, who with the assistance of Michael 
Angelo, and by means of certain ladders, had already seen some 
part of the ceiling, insisted on the chapel being thrown open, 
because he was naturally hasty and impatient, and could not 
wait until it was peifect, and had received, so to speak, the last 
touches. The moment it was thrown open, all Rome ran to see it, 
and the Pope was the first, not even having the patience to wait till 
the dust, caused by the removal of the scafiblding, . had settled ; 
and Ra£aello da Urbino, who was an excellent imitator, having seen 
it, suddenly changed his manner, and immediately, to shew his skill, 
painted the prophets and the sybils in the chapel of the Chigi in the 
church of Sta. Maria della Pace. Bramante then tried to induce the 
Pope to give the painting of the other half of the chapel to Rafiaello. 
When Michael Angelo heard of it, he was angry with Bramante, 
and, without any consideration for him, told the Pope many of the 
faults both of his life and of his architectural works. But the Pope 
appreciating the value of Michael Angelo more and more every day, 
desired he would go on with the work, and having seen the picture 
uncovered, considered that Michael Angelo could greatly improve 


the other half ; and thus he completed the whole of the paintaig' 
entirely by himself, in twenty months, without even the assistance 
of any one to grind his colours. Michael Angelo has sometimes 
complained, that, on account of the Pope hurrying him, he was not 
able to finish it to his own satisfaction, for the Pope was continually 
asking him, importunately, when he would have finished it. So 
that, on one occasion, he answered, ' It will be finished when I have 
satisfied myself in those things that relate to the art.' ' And we 
desire,' said the Pope, ' that you satisfy our wish, that it should be 
finished quickly.' The Pope ended by telling him, that if he did 
not soon finish it, he would have him thrown off the scafiblding. 
And therefore Michael Angelo, who feared, and had reason to fear, 
the anger of the Pope, immediately, and without delay, finished what 
was wanting ; and, having taken down the rest of the scafibld, 
opened it on the morning of AU Saint's day, when the Pope went 
to the chapel there to sing mass, to tbci^satisfaction of the whole city, 
Michael Angelo desired to retouch some things in aecco, as the 
older painters had done in the historical pictures beneath, and to 
make certain back-grounds, draperies, and skies, of ultramarine, and 
to place gold ornaments in some places, in order to give the work 
richness, and a better appearance, because the Pope, having been 
told that this was wanting, and hearing it so much praised by 
whoever had seen it, wished him to make the addition, but, as it 
would have taken up too much of Michael Angelo's time to re- 
construct the scaffolding, the painting remained as it was. The 
Pope, who frequentiy went to see Michael Angelo, used to say to 
him, ' Let the chapel be enriched with colours and gold, for the 
effect is too poor.' And Michael Angelo used to answer him 
familiarly, ' Holy Father, men in those times did not wear gold 
about them, and those who are there painted, were never very rich, 
but on the contrary they were holy men who despised riches.'* 
Michael Angelo was paid by the Pope at different times three hun- 
dred scudi (£650 nearly) of which he had to spend twenty-five in 
colours." — Vasari, Life of Michael Angelo, 

*' Gio. Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) painted in fresco a house 
of Signor D. Bartolomeo Panini, at Cento, both inside and outside, 

* Armenino also observes (p. 240) that 'Michael Angelo painted this chapel 
with fimple earths, without gold. 


in such a manner that it seems to be painted in oil, and many 
painters liave wished to make themselves certain of it by a very close 
inspection. He here shewed, besides the strength of his imagi- 
nation and the sublimity of his genius, his judgment in the dispo- 
sition of historical and fabulous compositions, having painted with 
great skill in one room the four seasons, and in the saloon all the 
actions of Ulysses, and in other rooms the Armida of Tasso, with 
such beauty and brilliancy of colour that this house has always been 
the most curious object of visit for princes, and Virtuosi, who have 
even gone to Cento on purpose." — Malv. Fela. Pitt. vol. /. p. 362. 

** When n Pomarancio desired to have the services of some youth 
more intelligent and experienced than those whom he had taken to 
Rome with him, he wrote to Bologna about it, to Bernardino Baldi, 
with whom he had, when at Rome, contracted a great friendship, 
which he continued to preserve by means of letters. Baldi sent 
Lorenzo Garbieri, who being arrived, began immediately to paint 
some uigels, (which can easily be distinguished) without cartoons 
or pouncings, looking only at the design, and cop3ring it off on a 
large scale upon the wet lime with a sharp nail, he began to colour 
them with so much boldness and facility that while it astonished 
that great artist, produced much jealousy and envy among the others, 
so that they leagued together, and beginning to persecute him 
violently, prevented his remaining there very long." — Malv. Fels. 
Pitt. vol. II. p. 301 . 

" Amico Aspertino painted with both hands at once, holding in 
one hand a brush filled with light colour, and in the other, one filled 
with dark ; but what was more remarkable and laughable, was that 
he bound round his waist a leather strap, to which hung his gallipots 
of tempered colours ; and he looked like the devil of S. Maccario 
with aU his phials hanging round him, and when painting with his 
spectacles on his nose, it was sufficient to make the very stones 
laugh, especially when he began to talk, for he talked enough for 
twenty persons, and he loved to say the strangest things in the 
world." — Vasari, Life of Amico Aspertino. 

" In the arches and vaults of the Convent of S. Croce, Lorenzo 
de Bicd painted in 1418, representations of some of the kings of 
France, friars, and devotees pf St. Francesco, and drew their portraits 


as well as those of many learned men, and of men remarkable for 
their dignities, such as, bishops, cardinals, and popes ; among whidi 
are portraits, from the life, in two circles in the roof, of the p<^8 
Nicholas IV and Alexander V. Although Lorenzo gave all these 
figures grey dresses, yet by the great skill he had acquired by his 
long experience in painting, he so varied them, that they are all 
different from each other. Some incline to red, others to blue ; some 
are dark, and others are light, and, in short, they are all difierent 
and deserving of approbation. Moreover; he is said to have executed 
this work with so much quickness and facility, that once when he 
was sent for by the fraie guardiano of the convent (who used to 
procure his dinner) just as he had laid on the intOfMCO for a figure, 
and begun to paint, he said, ' Put on the saucepans, for I will just 
finish this figure, and then I will come/ So that it was said with 
truth, that Lorenzo had greater quickness of hand, g^reater practice 
in colours, and greater boldness, than any other person ever pos- 
sessed." — Vasari, Life of Lorenzo di Bicci, 

** Domenico Ghirlandaio understood well the method of painting 
on walls, and worked on them with facility, although his style of 
composition was somewhat affected. He repainted the Capella 
Maggiore in Sta. Maria Novella which had been painted by Andrea 
Orgagna, but which, owing to the bad state of the roof, had been 
injured by the rain. This chapel was considered most beautiful, being 
large, and pleasing for the vivacity of its colours, the skill and neat- 
ness of the handling upon the wall, and the few retouchings in secco, 
besides the composition and arrangement of the figures. And certain- 
ly Domenico deserves great praise, on all accounts, and particularly 
for the Kveliness of the heads, which, being portraits from the life, 
give excellent likenesses of many distinguished personages. He 
painted also for Giovanni Tomabuoni, at his villa called Casa 
Maccherelli, at a short distance from the city, and close to the 
rivulet TerzoUe, a chapel, now half ruined, on account of its being 
situated so near the torrent. Although this chapel has been for 
many years uncovered, and continually wetted by the rain, and 
scorched by the sun, the painting has stood so well, that it would 
seem to have been always under shelter, such is the durability of 
fresco paintings, when judiciously painted, and not retouched in 
secco" — Vaaari, Life of Domenico Ghirlandaio. 


" Bat the most beautiful part of this painting (by Stefieuio 
Veronese) is two Prophets, in the middle of the upper part, as large 
as life, because the heads are the most beautiful and lively that 
Stefano ever painted; and the colouring of the whole work, 
having been carefully executed, has remained beautiful even to our 
times, notwithstanding that it has been much exposed to rain, wind, 
and frost ; and if this painting had been in a covered place, as 
Ste^Boio did not retouch it in secco, but was careful to complete it 
well in fresco, it would still be as beautiful and lively as when it 
came out of his hands, whereas, as it now stands, it is a little 
damaged." — Vasari, Life of Fittare Scarpaccio, 

" In 1*618, Matteo RosseUi painted in fresco another lunette in the 
Cloister of the Nunziata. This picture proved so beautiful (not 
so much on account of the invention and colouring, as for the 
wonderful harmony which it possesses), that Pietro da Cortona was 
obliged to say that it was the most beautiful picture in the place ; 
and Passignano praised it very highly. Indeed, to tell the truth, 
Matteo Rosselli had the talent, which none but himself possessed, of 
uniting and harmonizing his colours perfectly, in fresco-painting, 
while the lime was fresh. In order to attain this object, he never 
spared trouble, but was accustomed to begin to work at sunrise, 
and, taking but very little refreshment while on the scafibld, he used 
to persevere at his work in the summer until dusk, and in winter 
until five o'clock in the evening ; because he wished to leave the 
intonaco, and not the iatonaco to leave him. And therefore he never 
had any occasion to retouch in secco, and his pictures look more like 
oil than fresco paintings." — Baldinucci, vol. II, p. 60. 


" Among all those who have assisted Primaticcio, none have done 
him more honour than Nicolo da Modena, of whom we have already 
spoken. For he has exceUed all the others by the excellence of his 
skill, having painted with his own hand, after the designs of the 
Abbot, a room, called the Sala del Ballo, with such a great number 
of figures, that it seems hardly possible to count them ; and they 
are all as large as life, and coloured in a transparent manner, so that, 
by the union of the colours of the fresco it appears painted in oil. 


" After this picture, he painted in the great gallery, also from the 
designs of the Ahhot, sixty historical pictures, taken from the life 
and actions of Ulysses ; hut the colouring of them is much darker 
than that of the Sala del Ballo, This is owing to his having used 
no other colours hut earths, just in the state in which they are pro- 
duced hy nature, ¥rithout, we may almost say, mixing any white with 
them, hut the darkness of the shadows is so intense, that they have 
excessive force and relief. Besides this, he has united the joinings 
so well, in every part of it, that it appears as if it had heen all 
painted in one and the same day, and he therefore deserves the 
highest praise, particularly as he has painted the pictures entirely in 
fresco, without having at all retouched them in secco, as many are 
accustomed to do at the present day." — Malv. Feb. Pitt, vol. I, p, 
153, 154. 

" Giacomo Cavidone's beautiful manner of painting injresco with so 
few colours, pleased Guido so much, that he wished him to teach him 
his manner of working ; and, expecting to have to paint the Cupola 
at Loretto, he placed all his reliance upon Giacomo, and sent for him 
to Rome while he was painting the chapel of Monte Cavallo, paying 
him 30 scudi (£7 nearly) a month, as appears from his pocket hook." 
— Malv. Felsina Pittrice, vol. IT, p. 219. 


Of the works of Gio. Carlone and Gio. Batista Carlone, Lanzi 
says, " It is not easy to find works equally extensive, executed 
with equal diligence, compositions so fertile in invention and heads 
so varied and animated ; figures with the contours so well defined, 
and so well detached from the ground, colours so heautiful, so hril- 
liant, so fresh, after the lapse of so many years. There is a red 
colour (perhaps used too frequently) that appears crimson (porpora) 
a hlue which resemhles the sapphire ; a green in particular which 
artists consider quite miraculous, and which looks like an emerald. 
The brightness of these colours recals to the mind pictures on glass 
or enamel ; and I never remember having seen in the works of any 
other Italian painter a style of colouring so new, so pleasing, and so 
flattering. To certain persons who compare these colours with those 
of Raflaello, Correggio, and Andrea del Sarto, they seem to have 
a certain rawness; but on subjects of taste, where there are so many 
ways of pleasing, and so many degrees of merit in artists, who ever 
succeeded in pleasing every one ? The similarity of the style, induced 


the best informed persons, to consider them the work of one master ; 
but the best judges consider the pictures of Gio. Batista to possess 
a certain exquisite taste in colour and chiaro. scuro> and a greater 
grandeur of design. It has been endeavoured by a close examination 
to ascertain the manner in which these pictures were coloured ; and 
it has been found that when painting ceilings and walls of rooms the 
artist had apphed the colours upon the dry wall, after paving laid 
under them a coloured intohado, which defended them from the 
action of the lime.^ They were applied with most delicate gradations 
and with wonderful uniformity ; whence these frescoes appeared as 
if painted with oil ; these are the encomiums of Sig. Ratti and nearly 
those of Mengs his master." — Lanzi, vol. V, p. 269. 

'* Perhaps the finest works that we have in Venice by this'[!master 
(Tiepolo) are his pictures in fresco. In this kind of painting which 
requires both quickness and facility of execution, Tiepolo excelled 
every other painter ; and he introduced with wonderful skill into his 
pictures, a beauty and sunny brilliancy which are perhaps unparalleled. 
In order to attain this perfection, other artists have endeavoured to 
make use of the finest colours in fresco ; and have made every effort 
to discover new ones. Tiepolo, on the contrary, made use of dirty 
tints and impure colours, and of the most common pigments, and by 
opposing these tints to others that were pure and bright, with his 
ready pencil, he produced an effect which is rarely seen in other 
pictures. In this kind of painting he shewed his great knowledge of 
the effect of contrasts in colours, and the importance of knowing 
how to employ them with praiseworthy sagacity." — See Lanzi, vol. 
Ill, p. 223. 

" That the Garracci were not good colourists, although they stu- 
died in the Lombard and Venetian schools, is asserted by Mengs and 
proved by many of their pictures in oil, those of Ludovico especially 
being discoloured and decayed. This was either occasioned by the 

• It seems difficult to imagine how colours laid on a dry wall can be said to 
be painted in fresco. Probably these paintings were executed in the manner 
described by Mr. Wilson in the II. Rep. p. 40. 

The process, whatever it was, must have been good, since the pictures con- 
tinued to preserved their freshness and brilliancy in the degree mentioned by 
Lanzi, alter a lapse of 150 years ; for Gio. Batista Carlone died in 1680, and Gio. 
Andrea his son in 1697. 


defective priming, or the immoderate use of oil, or by not having 
snfFered a proper time to elapse between the priming and the paint- 
ing of the picture. This cannot be said of their frescoes. These 
seen close, exhibit a freedom of handling quite Paolesque, nor did 
the skill of the Carracci, said Bellori, or that of any other painter of 
the period, produce specimens of better colouring than the works of 
the Carracci in the Casa Magnani. They display a truth, a force, a 
combination, a harmony of colours, which entitled them to be called 
the reformers of this branch of painting. They abandoned those yel- 
lowish and other feeble tints introduced by avarice instead of azures 
and other more expensive colours ; Bellori attributes the greatest 
merit to Annibale, asserting that through him Ludovico himself 
renounced his first mode of colouring which was after the manner of 
Procaccino." — Ijonzi, voL V. p* 70. 

*' Tintoretto used to say that beautiful colours were sold in the 
shops of the Rialto ; but that design was produced from the recesses 
of the brain with much study and long watchings, and this was the 
reason why there were so few who understood and practised it.'' 
—Ridolfi, vol. II. p, 253. 

" While Einaldi was painting the beautiful picture of Bacchus and 
Ariadne, and Cesarino begged of him to use good and fine colours, 
he began to laugh heartily, and turned to him and said, ' good 
design and common colours ;' alluding to what, according to Ridolfi, 
Titian was accustomed to say, that it was not the colours, but the 
design, that made figures beautiful; and ako, that good colours 
could be bought at the Rialto, but that design was contained in the 
portfolio of the mind." — Malv, Fels, Pitt. vol. I. p. 481. 

"The colour (of a Crucifixion by Retro CavalUni at Assisi) is 
preserved in a great degree, and especially the azzurro, which here 
and in other parts of the church forms a sky which is really the 
colour of the oriental sapphire as our poets say." — Lanzi, vol. II. p. 12. 

" Pisano, or Pisanello, a Veronese painter, having been many years 
in Florence with Andrea dal Castagno, and having finished Andrea's 
pictures after his death, acquired so much credit under the name of 
Andrea, that the pope Martin V. when he came to Florence, took 
him away with him to Rome, where he made him paint, in St. John 


"* Lateran, some historical paintings in fresco, which are very pleasing, 

and as beautiful as possible, because he laid upon them, in great 
abundance, a sort of ultramarine, given to him by this pope, so beau- 
tiful and of such a fine colour, that it has never yet been equalled/' 
— Vasari, Life of Vittore Pisanello, 

" Because it was the custom of Bufialmacco, in order to make the 
flesh colours easier to paint, to form for the whole of the picture, a 
ground of pavonazzo di saie,^ which in course of time« produces a 
saltness that corrodes and consumes the white, and the other colours ; 
therefore it is not surprising that such paintings spoil and corrode, 
while others, painted much longer, keep in good preservation. T, 
who thought it was the damp which injured these pictures, have 
since found, by experience, that it was not owing to the damp^ but 
to this particular custom of Buffalmacco, that they are so much 
damaged, that we can distinguish neither the design nor anything 
else ; and that where the flesh tints had been formerly, nothing 
now remained but the pavonazzo. This method of painting ought 
not to be used by any one who wishes his paintings to be durable." 
— Vasari, Life of Buonamico Buffalmacco, 

" Among other particulars, I must not omit, that this lady (daugh- 
ter-in-law of Caesar Baglione) gave me the keys of a certain small 
room in the larger house, which had never been opened since the 
before mentioned Joseph (son of Caesar Baglione) had left Bologna, 
and which contained every thing belonging to the studio of his de- 
ceased father. I found four chests in it ; one of which contained a 
great number of sketches, and cartoons of many pictures, painted by 
him on various occasions, and all the most famous engravings which 
had been published up to that time, by Buonmartino, Albert Durer, 
Altogravius, Marcantonio, Agostino, and many others who had used 
the graver, bound up in several volumes. The other chest was full 
of brushes and colours, that is to say, earths of all sorts, particularly 
of verde di miniera^ the most precious which the ancients possessed, 
the good and genuine sort of which is now lost. There were leather 

* Many authors mention this ^^ Pavonazzo di Sale" but I cannot find any 
account of its composition. Its name shows it to have heen compounded with 
some salt or alkali, which has always been found injurious to fresco paintings. 

>> Verde Montana — Native green carbonate of copper. 


bags full of ElngliBh browns* (Bruno d'Inghilterra), which were then 
so much in use, being employed in fresco instead of lake ; also some 
very fine verdetto and some Azzurro di Spagna,^ so bright and fine 
that even Sirani was deceived by them, and at first mistook them 
for Ultramarine." — Malv. Fels. Pitt. vol. L 348. 

" Dario Varatori painted in fresco some sybils and prophets in the 
Carmine, at Padua, being obliged to complete the work on account 
of certain festivities, and being at the same time under a course of 
medicine, he carried his draught with him to the work ; he took the 
bottle in his hand, looked at it, smelled to it several times, then 
taking a disgust to it from having taken so much, he dipped his pen- 
cil into it, and finished with it the drapery of one of the figures, 
making use of it for the shadows which were of that colour." — Ridolfi, 
vol. II. p. 269. 

It will perhaps be recollected that Leon, da Vinci recommended 
" Aloes Cavallini" as a pigment. 


*' The /re»co by Domenico Ghirlandaio in the Duomo of Pisa is on 
a gold ground." — /. Pisa, Illust. p. 236. 

" Girolamo Curti wished to try two inventions of his, which were 
new at that time, and have certainly not been practised since. The 
first was to hatch (tratteggiare) his frescoes with gold leaf, by a 
secret process of mixing together boiled oiU turpentine, and yellow 
wax, and spreading the composition while hot, with a small brush, 
wherever the lights occur ; because this mordant renders the gold 
leaf, which is put upon it, somewhat raised and very shining. 
This mordant pleased him, and it cannot be denied that the rich 
appearance of it succeeded well, particularly on certain occasions, 
times and places, as in theatrical scenes, funerals, large buildings and 
similar things, which are to be seen by torch light, although after- 

* Sinqpia. 

^ Native blae carbonate of copper, AztU Fino, or of St. Domingo. 


wards it began to be employed far too frequently, in great excess, and 
with intolerable affectation in fresco paintings." — Malv. Fela. Pitt, 
vol, I. p. 160, 161. 

" I therefore conclude that it cannot be denied that modem deco- 
rations are more sumptuous than the ancient; as well as more 
pleasing and more varied, perhaps in too great a degree ; that they 
have greater beauty and vivacity, but perhaps less depth and nature ; 
that they please, but I do not know that they instruct ; that they 
attract, but I do not know that they deceive. The profusion of 
gold hatchings, which is now used so immoderately, makes the work 
richer, but not more admirable; brighter, but not of better relief; and 
if the only light adapted to it be wanting, it remains dull, and without 
the proper brightness; and therefore Giralomo (Curti), although 
he was the inventor of it,* did not care to use it frequently. He 
employed it at proper times and in proper places, and not always and 
everywhere ; rather for trial than for use ; rather as a whim, than a 
custom ; desiring to shew himself a true painter, and not a mere 
gilder. In his colours also he imitated nature and did not follow fancy. 
He obtained his colours from macigno, travertine, bricks, and marble; 
not from agates, jaspers, chrysohtes, or amethysts.*^ He represented 
objects that exist or that can exist, not such as never have been nor 
ever can be. His design also was natural, not ideal ; real, not imag- 
inary; according to his own experience, and to reason, not according 
to caprice or feoicy. He painted with body colours, he did not wash 
with water colours ; he painted with a solid itnpasto, and not with 
his colours too liquid. He studied the durability of his pictures, not 
their appearance. He was accustomed to make sketches, that he 
might have an opportunity of correcting his designs, and because he 
did not trust in the goodness of the white hme, he sometimes in- 
creased its density with white marble finely powdered, ground and 
mixed with it, and which, as may be seen, in the fagade of the 
Grimaldi palace has resisted so well the injuries of time." — Malv. 
FeU. Pitt. vol. II. p. 173. 

Jacopo di Pontormo, was commissioned by the Duke Alessandro de 
Medicis (who was assassinated in 1536), to paint the whole of the 

* That is hatching the frescoes \vith gold. 

^ Meaning, that he used common, and not fine, colours. 


Capella Maggiore of S. Lorenzo (built by Cosimo Vecchio di Uedi- 
cis) since called the Capella de Principi. 

" Of these frescoes, begun by Jacopo de Pontormo in S. Lorenzo 
and finished by Bronzino, no traces remain but the diary of Pontormo 
preserved in the Biblioteca Palatina> (segnata. No. 351) which has 
preserved some curious notices respecting these pictures." They 
are useful to artists, inasmuch as they shew what portions of the 
pictures were painted in each day. The diary begins thus, — " On 
Sunday morning the 11th of March, 1554, I dined with Bronzino, 
Wednesday evening, the 29th, I ate almonds and painted that figure 
which is over the bald head.^ 

" On the 9th June, 1554, Marco Moro began to build the wall of 
the choir and fill up the holes in S. Lorenzo. 

" The dOth January 1555, I began the loins of that figure which 
is lamenting over the child. 

" The 31st, I painted the shp of linen which encircles them. 

" The 1st February, I painted the drapery above, on the 5th I 
finished it, and on the 1 6th I painted those legs of that child which 
are here represented. — ^The 4th, I painted the head of the figure 
above which stands thus. 

" March the 4th, Sunday, I painted the torso of the figure under 
this head, and on Monday the arm belonging to the same figure 
which is raised, as shewn in this sketch. 

" On Tuesday and Wednesday I painted the arm of the old man 
which is like this. 

" On Wednesday the 20th, I finished the arm, begun on Friday, 
the bust of which I painted on Monday. On Tuesday, I painted the 
head belonging to the arm I have mentioned. On Thursday morning 
I rose very early, but the weather was so bad, so windy, and cold 
that I did not work, but remained in the house. On Friday I 
painted the other arm, which is placed across, and on Saturday the 
23rd, a little of the blue ground ; in the evening of Sunday I supped 
on eleven ounces of bread, two eggs and spinach. 

" Tuesday, 26th, I painted that head of the boy which is looking 

" On Wednesday, I painted the rest of the boy ; I was so inconve- 
nienced by remaining in a stooping posture all day, that on Thursday 

* Sketches with the pen are always added ; the MS. appears to be a copy 
of the seventeenth century. 


I had a pain in the back, and on Friday I was worse, and was 
otherwise indisposed, and ate no sapper ; and on the morning of the 
29th, which was Friday, 1555, 1 painted the hand and half the arm of 
that large figure, the knee, with a part of the leg where the hand is 

'* The 3rd April, I painted the leg belonging to the knee with 
great fatigue on account of the darkness. 

" On Friday I began the back of the figure under this. 

** On Tuesday I painted the leg with the thigh under, and the 
back which is bdow the first mentioned back, thus. 

" On Saturday, I painted the rock, and the Duke came to S. 
Lorenzo, that is to say to the Ufizio. On Thursday I painted those 
two arms. On Friday I painted the head with the rock below it. 
On Saturday I did the trunk of the tree, the rock, and the hand. 
On the 27th I finished only the leg placed thus. Tasso died. On 
Wednesday and Thursday I finished it. On Tuesday, I begun the 
torso the head of which is looking thus. On Thursday I did an arm. 
On Friday, the other arm. On Saturday, the thigh of the figure 
placed thus. On Monday, the 20th May, I began the arm of this 
figure. On Tuesday, the other arm. On Friday, I finished the 
figure. On Wednesday, I did the head below this figure, thus. 
On Thursday, 30th May, the thigh. On Friday, the back. On 
Saturday, I finished the figure. On Wednesday, I did the shoulders 
of the figure. On Thursday, I did the arm. On Friday, I finished 
it. On Wednesday, I did the head of the dead man with the beard 
above this figure. On Thursday, I did the head and arm of the 
figure placed thus. On Friday, the torso. On Saturday, the legs 
and finished the figure. On Tuesday, unfastened the planks of the 
scafiblding; on Wednesday, filled up the holes in the wall. On 
Thursday, 4th July, I began the figure like this. Friday and Satur- 
-di^, I did as far as the legs. Friday, the 5th, I did one thigh. On 
Thursday, I did the other thigh. 

"On Friday, the 12th, I worked on the long pipe, close to the boarded 
partition. On Tuesday, 1 6th, I began this figure. On Thursday I 
worked in S. Lorenzo a little, and finished the figure. On Friday, 
I did the head looking this way. On Tuesday, I began the figure. 
On Wednesday, I did as far as the legs. On Thursday, 1st August, 
I did the legs. On Friday, I did the arm on which the figure leans. 
On Saturday^ the head of the figure below it, which is thus." — Car- 
teggio Tnedito d* Artisti, vol, 111, p» 1 Q^, 8rc, 




" Close to this picture he (Lorenzo di Ricd) painted also in fresco 
a San Cristofano of the height of twelve and a half hraccia (=25 
feet), which was a very extraordinary thing in those times, because 
up to that time, with the exception of the San Cristofano of Bnffal- 
macco, there had never been seen a larger figure, nor, considering 
its size, although it is not painted in a good style, a more accurate 
and well-proportioned figure, in all its parts, than this. Besides 
which, both of these pictures were painted with such skill, that, 
although they have been many years in the open air, beaten by the 
wind and storm, being exposed to the north (Tramontana), they 
have never lost the brilliancy of their colours, nor have they been 
ever damaged in any part." — Fasari, Life of Lorenzo di Ricci. 

" Pietro Perugino was desired to paint a dead Christ with St. 
John and the Virgin, on the steps of the side door of S. Maria 
Maggiore, and he painted it in such a manner, that although exposed 
to the rain and the wind, it has nevertheless retained such freshness, 
as to appear as if Pietro had just painted it. It is certain that Pietro 
was well acquainted with the colours, as well in fresco as in oil ; so 
that all skilful artists are under this obligation to him, that through 
his means, and the study of his works they have obtained much 
practical information." — Vasariy Life of Pietro Perugino. 

" The commonalty at Florence, the year that Gabriel Maria (the 
Master of Rsa) sold that city to the Florentines for 200,000 scudi 
(=£44,444. 98.) after Giovanni Gambacorta had sustained a siege 
for thirteen months, and he also had at last agreed to the sale, 
caused Stamina to paint, in memory of this circumstance, on the 
Guelfish fri9ade of the palace, a Saint Dennis as bishop, with two 
angels, and, underneath this, a view of the city of Pisa, in doing 
which, he took so much care about every thing, and particularly 
about colouring it in fresco, that, in spite of wind and rain, and 
notwithstanding its being turned to the north, it has always been and 
still is considered as being worthy of praise, for having always 
retained its freshness and beauty so as to appear as if but just 
painted." — Vasari, Life ofGherardo Stamina. 



The causes to which writers on Painting commonly attribute the 
destruction of frescoes, are, damp, and the presence of salts in the 
substance of the wall, or the plastering or intonaco, or saline par- 
ticles deposited on the pictures by the sirocco and other wmds 
which blow over the sea ; the injuries arising to the naintings from 
injudicious attempts to repair them, entire neglect, and wilful in- 
juries. Instances of the injuries to frescoes arising from damp are 
so numerous, that it is useless to enumerate them, particularly as 
the writers on painting do not mention any particulars relative to the 
construction of the walls on which they are painted, or the situation 
of the building^. 

The following extracts shew the opinions entertained by different 
writers as to the cause of the destruction of certain frescoes. 

" In the Church of the Annunciation at Parma, on the left hand 
as you enter, Correggio painted in fresco the Mystery of the Incar- 
nation; but this picture has been much injured, because it was 
painted in another place, and the wafi~being j^led down, the picture 
was placed in its piesent situation, and it always happens in similar 
cases that the humidity of the new wall and salts, arising from the 
lime, form, on fresco paintings, a kind of tartar which covers and 
obscures them." — Mengs, obras, p. 289. 

" A Fresco, by Andrea Comodi in the vestry of S. Carlo a Catin- 
ari, at Rome, is become dark and covered with a mist, an unusual 
thing for so good a colourist." — Lanzi, vol, I. p. 193. 

"The Cupola of the Duomo of Pisa is not double, and conse- 
quently is not proof against the humidity that occasions the injuries 
which are slowly increasing, but which by great good luck, have 
as yet spared the most essential and beautiful parts." — Fka Illust, 
vol. I. p. 310. 

Lanzi says, that " the master-piece of Cigoli (Peter healing the 
lame man), for which he received the honor of knighthood, is quite 
destroyed either from the dampness of the church, or the ignorance 
of those who undertook to clean it." — Vol. I. p. 192. 

I , , - 


" The damp of the waUs (of the Campo Santo of Pisa) causes the 
pictures to scale off; and the surrounding air impregnated with damp 
and saline vapours is equally injurious to them. No great damage 
will probably ensue for a few years ; but we shall see one day» 
as in the case of S. Girolamo di Lomi that the sirocco, prevailing in 
the plains of Pisa, and confined within these extensive loggie, 
(besides the injury done by them, and by the violence of men to the 
intonaco, and the materials of the walls) will commit fresh havoc." — 
JI, Pisa Ittust. p. 16. 

'* So Giotto going to Pisa, executed at the end of one of the 
fa^des of the Campo Santo, six large historical pictures in fresco, 
taken from the history of the patient Job. And as he very judid- 
ously considered that the marble of that part of the building where 
he had to paint, was turned towards the sea and must therefore be 
impregnated with salt, from the effects of the sirocco, that the wall 
would damp, and give out a certain efflorescence, as the bricks 
of Pisa generally do, and that therefore the colours and the pictures 
would be tarnished and corroded ; in order to preserve his pictures 
as much as possible, he caused to be made, wherever he intended to 
paint in fresco, an arricciato or intonaco, or plastering made of lime, 
gesso, and pounded brick, mixed so nicely that the pictures which he 
painted have been preserved up to this day ; and they would have 
stood better, had it not been for the carelessness of the persons who 
ought to have taken care of them, in allowing them to be much injur- 
ed by the damp, because the neglect of any provision against damp, 
which might easily have been made, was the cause that these pictures, 
having suffered from the damp, have perished in several places ; the 
carnations have become black, and the intonaco has scaled off; be- 
sides which it is the nature of gesso, when mixed with lime, to be- 
come wet and corrupted ; whence it appears, it must necessarily 
spoil the colours, although it appears at first to give them a good 
and firm hold." * — Vasari, Life of Giotto, vol. II, p. 75. 

" With regard to the destruction of the paintings of Giotto in the 
Campo Santo of Pisa, the Canon Tosti, (MS. Dialoguo Sopra Tistoria 

■ It is rather singular that Vasari should assign the same cause both for the 
preservation and the decay of the pictures; namely, by the mixture of lime, 
gesso, and pounded brick. Vitruvius remarks that gesso must never be mixed 
with lime. 


del Campo Santo de Pisa. L. L. p. 11), states that while the ar- 
chitect was preparing the roof, the Campo Santo remained for a long 
time uncovered on account of tedious law-suits, and the damp occa- 
sioned hy exposure to the rains did great damage to the works and 
to the memory of Giotto. This is a proof we do not complain with- 
out reason against insufficient superintendents of public works.""^ — 
IL Pisa Illust. p. 205. 

" The Campo Santo of Pisa is faced with white marble procured 
chiefly from the neighbouring mountains — //. Pisa Illustrata, p. 175, 
—except on the north side where it joins the city walls." — P. 176. 

" In the early part of his life, Andrea Schiavone employed himself 
in painting all subjects for the shops ; he also contracted a friendship 
with masons in order to procure employment, accustoming himself to 
paint the fronts of houses, the painting of which was frequently in- 
trusted to these workmen ; so that his friendship with the masons 
was the cause of his fortune. And to such a state was the art 
reduced in Venice that painters were often obliged to carry away 
the rubbish, as if there were no difference between painting and 
whitewashing. This practice of fresco painting is disused in Venice, 
because the frescoes are destroyed by the salt water, which incorpo- 
rates with the lime, and instead of it, architects introduce the custom 
of encrusting the walls with marble like a fortress, as if men had to 
make war with death, not remembering the words of Horace, — 

* Pallida mors aquo pulsat pede pauperum tabemoj, 
Regumque turres* 

* Pale death, with equal step will soon or late, 
Knock at the cottage and the palace gate.' " 

—I Ridolfi, p. 320. 

" Giorgione, took great pleasure in fresco painting, and, among 
other things, which he painted, was one whole fa9ade of the Ck 
Soranzo in the Piazza di S. Paolo, in which, besides many other 
pictures and stories, and other fantastical ideas of his, there b seen 

* These pictures were painted previous to the year 1400. The Campo Santo 
was begun in 1278, and it was finished in 1283, except the Capello Maggiore, 
which was finished in 1454. — //. Pisa Illttstfp. 203. — Ed. 


a pictiire paanted in oil upon the lime which has withstood nun, sod, 
and wind, and is preserved even to thb day. There is also a figure 
of Spring, which seems to me, to he one of the most heaatifid things 
that he painted in fresco, and it is a great pfty, that the weather 
shookl have so much damaged it. And i, for my part, do not 
know of any thing, that does more injury to fresco paintings, 
than the sirocco, and particularly in the neighbourhood of the sea, 
where it always brings with it so many s^ne particles." — Vaaari, 
JJfe of GiorgioM. Boryh. R^. p, 303. 

Lanzi, (Vol. III. p. 133) remarljs that the climate of Verona ia 
friendly to the preservation of pictures and that "whilst at Venice, the 
sea air has spoiled the best fresco paintings, the greater part df those 
painted in Verona have been preserved.** 

" Francesco Pagani painted two fa9ades of the palace of Giuliano 
de Ricasole in fresco in chiaro scuro historical subjects from ancient 
Roman history ; among these he painted in yeUow, figures of Jupiter 
and Juno, which were esteemed so fine, that Jacopo da Pon- 
tormo, one of the best painters that ever lived in our city of Florence, 
passing one day that way, said in the presence of many persons, 
that if he had not known that these figures were by the hand of 
Francesco, he should have thought them the work of Michael Angelo. 
But this fine picture, in the course of a few years, perhaps from 
being exposed to the tempests and winds, especially in that part 
which faced the sea, became so effaced, that little of it remained in 
our days.*' — Bald. vol. VII, p. 605. 

" Which paintings (an Annunciation and a St. Jacob and St. 
Philip in the chapel of the Bishop of Arezzo), owing to the back of 
the wall being turned to the north, were almost entirely spoilt by 
the damp, when Agnolo di Lorenzo d'Arez^zo repainted the Annun- 
ciation ; and shortly afterwards, Giorgio Vasari, while still young, 
repainted the St. James and St. Philip which was of great benefit 
to him, as he learnt a great deal then, not being able to get instruc- 
tion from other masters, by considering the maimer of painting of 
Giovanni (Tossicani,) and the shading and colouring of this painting 
decayed as it was." — Vasari, Life o/Tommaso (Giottino). 



" The pictures by Pordenone on the exterior of the house of 
Martmo d'Anna a merchant of Venice, have been destroyed by the 
' Tramontana' and are scarcely visible; but one representing the rape 
of Proserpine under the vine arbour is still preserved." — I, Ridolfi, 
p. 153. 

We find by the following letter from Nicholas Poussin that the 
frescoes of Frimaticcio at Fontainebleau, painted about 1540, were so 
much decayed as to require repairing in 1642. 

" I was not able to answer your last letter of the 27th June, until 
I returned from Fontainebleau, where I was gone, as I wrote 
by my last letter, because M. de Noyer had given me orders to go 
there, to see if the pictures of Primatticcio, which had been damaged 
by the injuries of time, could be restored ; or at least to discover 
some means of preserving those which had remained most entire." — 
Lettere Pittoriche, vol. /. p. 299. 


With respect to cleaning, retouching, and repairing frescoes, 
different opinions have been entertained by the best writers on the 
subject. The weight of authority appears to be in favour of cleaning 
but against retouching and repedring frescoes. In a very learned 
and argumentative letter from Luigi Ccmon Crespi to Francesco 
Count Algorotti, inserted in the third volume of Lettere su la Pittura 
by Bottarip. 264, ed. Roma, 1759, he strongly condemns the practice 
of retouching and repairing frescoes, and controverts the opinions 
and observations of Bellori, by whom the repairs of the gallery of 
the Caracci in the Palazzo Famese, and of the Loggia of Raffaello 
at the Lungara, are much praised. I merely refer to the very long 
letter of Crespi, not considering his observations of much practical 
use, but I insert a translation of the observations of Bellori, on 
account of their practical value, preceding them however, by some 
extracts from other writers on the subject. 


"AH those paiatings which Antonio Veneziano executed in the 
Campo Santo, at Pisa, are universaUy, and with great reason, con- 
sidered the best of all those which have been painted by many 
excellent masters, at various times, in that place ; because he always 
painted everything in fresco, never retouching anything in tecco^ 
and this caused his colours to remain brilliant even to this day. This 
should be a lesson to artists, to shew them how mudi the retouching 
of fresco paintings with other colours, after they are dry, injures the 
pictures ; it being an ascertained fact, that they appear old, and are 
prevented from being cleaned by the weather, when they are covered 
over with gum> gum-tragacanth, egg, size, or any similar thing which 
varnishes (appanna) the pictures underneath it, and does not allow 
time and air, to clean that which is really painted in fresco beneath, 
upon the wet lime, as would be the case, if other colours, in secco, 
were not put over them/* — Vaaarij Life of Antonio Veneziano. See 
/. Lanzi, p. 42. 

" Luca Signorelii painted in fresco, at Volterra, in the church of 
San Francesco, over the altar of a fraternity, the circumcision of our 
Lord, which is considered wonderful; although the infant, having 
suifered from the damp, was repainted by II Sodoma, not nearly so 
well as it was before ; indeed, it would be sometimes better, to 
suffer the pictures, painted by good artists, to remain half spoiled, 
rather than to have them retouched by inferior painters." — Vasari, 
Life of Luca Signorelii. 

** The Madonna hi the Campo Santo, said by Vasari and Baldi- 
nucci to have been painted by Benozzo Gozzoli, is thought to have 
been in iajcX painted by Stefiano, and, being damaged, to have been 
afterwards repainted by Benozzo, as his pictures were by another 
hand.*"— Pwo, Illust. II, 214. 

The following account of the alteration of a picture in fresco, by 
painting over part of it in distemper, a proceeding which had escaped 
the detection of Vasari, will be read with interest. 

Fra. Angelico da Fiesole painted under his great work (the 
crucifixion), in the convent of San Marco, seventeen heads and 
busts, representing various saints ; among which is seen the portrait 

■ These retouchings prove that the pictures soon decayed. 


of Saint Antonino, Archbishop of Florence. St. Antonino died in 
1459, exactly four years after the death of Fra. Angelico, and the 
picture was painted while Antonino, neither dead nor canonized, still 
presided over the Florentine church. The knowledge of this fact 
induced Baldinucci to make a closer examination of the picture, and 
he ascertained, that the figure had not been originally painted as a 
representation of St. Antonino, but that the Fathers, desirmg to pos- 
sess his portrait, caused the name of the figure, which had been 
painted in fresco, to be coloured over with colours in distemper, 
and the drapery of the figure to be converted into the robes of the 
archbishop, to which were added the mitre, and other letters, by 
which the figure was converted into a portrait of St. Antonino. 
It is not known by whom this transformation was effected, but, 
from the antiquity of the painting, it must have been painted shortly 
after the canonization of the Saint, that is, about a. d. 1510, for 
the canonization of a saint is not permitted to take place until fifty 
years after his death, and this we know to be true, because, in 
addition to its being easily perceived by any one who attentively 
examines the difference between the two kinds of painting, ancient 
as they both are, the more ancient may still be seen in parts where 
the more modem, which is painted in distemper, (a kind of painting 
not so durable as fresco), has peeled off; the difference also of the 
style of the new work, although it has been painted in imitation of 
the ancient, is apparent ; and finally, the comparison of the ancient 
with the modem letters, has cleared up every doubt. " And I,'* 
observes Baldinucci, ** was desirous of communicating this fact, in 
order that no confusion may arise in the minds of posterity concern- 
ing historical facts, and particularly such as are connected with the 
arts." He adds, that Vasari was not acquainted with the circum- 
stances, and that he meiely observed the portrait in question was 
not that of St. Antonino, but that of some other saint. — See Baldu 
nucci, vol. Vt p» 163, 164. 

" Alesso Baldovinetti also painted the principal altar, and the 
chapel of S. Trinitk in fresco, for M. Gherardo and M. Bongianni 
Gianfigliazzi, rich and honourable Florentine gentlemen. The sub- 
jects were taken from the Old Testament, which he sketched in fresco 
and then finished in secco, tempering the colours with yolk of ^g^, 
mixed with liquid varnish, made over the fire, which vehicle, he 


thought, would have preserved his pictures from damp ; but it was 
so strong, that, in many places, where it was laid on too thick, it 
scaled off; and so, while he thought to have found a rare and excel- 
lent secret, he was deceived in his expectations." — Vasari, Life of 
Alesso BaldovinettL 

Mr. Wilson, in his report to the commissioners on the fine arts 
states, that " In the palace at Modena, there is a large hall, the 
ceiling of which is painted by Franceschini. The wood work in the 
lower part of the hall was entirely burnt some time ago, and the 
fresco ceihng was completely blackened by smoke, but was afterwards 
cleaned with perfect success." — // Rqf. p. 34. 


— From " Descrizumi delta Immagim Dipinti da Raffaello D'Urhino, 
Di Gio. Pietro Bellorir Ed. Roma, 1751. 

" The gallery had two notorious defects. The first was a great 
crack from top to bottom of the vaulted roof, which, cutting it in two 
transversely, had extended down both walls to the pavement, and 
had produced a great many smaller cracks, so that almost all the 
priming of the roof had bulged, and particularly that on the wall 
facing the south, on which the Andromeda was painted, which had 
already begun to fall off in pieces, and indeed some small pieces had 
actually fallen from the roof itself. 

" The second defect was an efflorescence of nitre, at that part on 
which the Cephalus and Aurora was painted, which also spread to 
the medallions, and naked figures contiguous. 

" The cause of the first defect was attributed to the weight above, 
which pushed the wall outward, towards the street ; and therefore 
four chains were fastened down below, upon the pavement, and four 


more upon the roof« all of which, being extended from the outer wall 
to the wall of the loggia in the courtyard, pulled the wall together, 
and prevented any similar mischief for the future. 

" In the second place, a new and wonderful invention was thought 
of, for fastening the priming, and re-attaching it to the mortar, so 
that it might not fEdl any more. It consisted in nailing the priming 
to the wall, in the same manner as one would fasten to it a silken or 
wooUen cloth. This being executed, with all necessary patience, by 
Sig. Francesco Rossi, who was in part the inventor of the plan, I 
think proper to record it here, for public instruction. 

" He used a nail similar in shape, to the capital letter T. such as 
is used by printers, with a number of tacks all along the branches ; 
and sometimes, in order that the upper part of the nail might not 
extend over the light parts, or the carnations, he had the branches 
shortened, or used a nail of the shape ^ with only one branch. 
Before putting in the nail, he used to ascertain the place where it 
was most required by striking the wall with his hand, and listening 
to the sound and echo of the hollow part, and where the colours 
were the darkest, he made a hole, with great care, with an auger, 
penetrating as fEU* as was necessary to make the fastening strong, 
and then filled it up with gesso. Then, choosing a nail, of the length 
required by the depth of the hole, he drove it in until the head of it 
reached the surface of the priming, in which he made a groove, to 
conceal the head, or the lateral branches of the nail. Having done 
this, he suffered the priming, which the use of the gesso had wetted 
round the nail, to dry, and then painted it over with certain water 
colours, in tint exactly resembling what it was before, and corres- 
ponding to the parts of the picture which remained ; and these tints, 
when dry, agreed so well, that it was not possible to find the slightest 
difiTerence in them. This is so true, that Sig. Carlo Maratti has told 
me, that several times, when he has been upon the scafifblding, and 
examined the work with great attention, he could not find out where 
the nail had been pleu;ed, and that, in fact, when the artist himself 
wished to point it out, he was sometimes mistaken, and did not 
know where it was. 

" It is really wonderful, and almost incredible, that there should 
have been fixed in that gallery, for the above mentioned purpose, 
1 300 nails, and 300 more in the cabinets painted by Annibale, and 
that no professor whatever, however skilled in these pictures, should 
be able to discover the slightest injury, or to point out any mark, or 


to indicate the place, in which one of these nails had been fixed ; so 
great was the skill with which the operation had been effected : the 
greatest care had also been taken not to touch even the edges, so to 
speak, of the priming, by which the nail was surrounded. 

" The second defect, arising from the efflorescence, was caused by 
the starting from the wall of the travertine, which forms the cornice 
above the four exterior columns, because the wind drove the rain on 
to this cornice, and the wet insinuating itself into the space behind 
the cornice, where it had started from the wall, began to wet the 
wall, and to communicate the moisture to the inner side, and thus to 
soak the priming and the colouring of the picture. This was provi- 
ded against for the future, by putting plates of marble upon the 
travertine of the cornice, reaching half a palm into the wall, care 
being taken to make them slope outwards, and to lap over one 
another at the edges. As to the past mischief, the same Sig. Gio. 
Francesco de Rossi had the merit, by virtue of a private secret of his 
own, of removing the efflorescence, and of restoring the pictures on 
that side to their former state, as they are now seen, with every 
hope, after a trial of two years, of their durability. 

" The Loggia ofRaffaello, although more ancient, has been respected 
more by time, than by the inclemency of the weather; because, 
although the roof has opened and cracked, and the priming has 
started in several places, yet, as these cracks have already settled 
properly, it has not been necessary to compress or restore the walls, 
but only to re-fasten, and to nail up the priming in the same maimer 
as in the gallery of Annibale, by means of 850 nails. 

" The mischief done by the air to this Loggia, has been much more 
considerable, because, having been open for about 140 years, without 
the protection of the planking and glass, which are now seen in the 
spaces imder the arches, between the pillars, the result has been 
that it has always been exposed both to the night air, and to the air 
of foggy or cloudy days, and also to the winds, particularly to the 
north wind, which even drove the rain into it. 

" From this notice it is easy to understand the mischief done to the 
colours, which have lost all their vivacity, and above all to the half 
tints, which have, for the most part, disappeared, and universally to 
all the grounds which had become so black, that one could hardly 
tell that they had been painted with good azure, which, however, 
still shewed itself in some parts, that were either less exposed, or 
better painted. But, as this is an evil too difficult to repair, without 


offending the superstition of some persons, who would rather consent 
to the entire destruction of an excellent painting, than allow it to be 
touched by the hand of another person, however skilful and excellent 
he may be ; it is certainly a popular error, to believe that nothing 
can be done, but to try to preserve, as well as possible, the rehcs of 
antiquity, and the venerable remains of such wonderful labours. 

"It is also true that posterity will not be of the same opinion as 
our scrupulous modems ; for if the mere embrions of those pro- 
ductions, which they know were so perfect in our time, or a little 
previous are preserved with difficulty to their times, they will 
reproach us with want of love for the art, and perhaps even with 
injustice, for having denied to painting that assistance, which is 
extended to sculpture, in which art we frequently see statues re- 
stored by the renewal of the legs, or the arms, and sometimes of 
the head, to set off the trunk and the rest of the figure. 

"Upon this consideration, Sig. Carlo Maratti, with the appro- 
bation of Sig. Felini, and of prudent persons, has repainted all the 
backgrounds, restoring them to that tone of colour which was still 
visible in those few parts of the ancient picture which has remained 
uninjured, as has been before mentioned ; and moreover, as many 
figures had lost all their former force and spirit, either by the 
destruction of the middle tints, or by the greater darkening of the 
shaded parts, or by the entire fading away of the light parts of the 
eyes, we think proper to record here separately, all the repairs made 
by Sig. Maratti, in order that our contemporaries as well as pos- 
terity may know the obligation which they are under, to the 
preserving genius of this great man. The figures repaired by him 
are the following, namely; the Bacchus and the Hercules in the 
Cena de' Dei. In the Concilio de* Dei, the Mercury handing the 
cup to Psyche, and Cupid embracing Psyche, and the head of 
Psyche herself. Almost all the northern side, where the imposts 
and the spaces between the arches are situated, and particularly 
the Psyche, carried by the little Loves to Heaven, and the 
children holding the exploits of the Gods. Within the opposite 
imposts, he restored from a most deplorable state to its present 
perfection, the Jove and the suppliant Venus. This has been 
executed with such judgment, and with such skill, that certainly 
none of our professors would be able to point out which were the 
additions of modem art, unless he had learned it, either from this 
historical narration, or from others who had known it by ocular 



inspection, such has been the union of the modern with ancient art ! 
and such the industry of this great man, in endeavouring to discover 
the exact positions in which the primitive tints were placed ! 
And I know that where he was not sufficiently certain of the accuracy 
of his knowledge, owing to the total absence of any vestiges, he 
used to make drawings from ancient statues, as he did in particular, 
from the Antinous, and from the Torso of the Ercole di Belvedere, 
from which RafiaeUe took the two above-mentioned figures. - 

*' And really, whoever examines the e£^scts of these beautiful 
restorations will confess, tiiat Sig, Felini had good reason for saying 
that the age would not always have the good fortune to possess 
a Carlo Maratti, and in that case we might only be able to desire 
to accomplish that which has now been in our power to execute. 

" We must not conceal from the knowledge of posterity another 
which on that occasion was conferred on this Loggia ; and we must 
first con»der that Ra^^eielle, and the excellent disciples of his school, 
did not finish the above-mentioned painting ; because the festoons 
of flowers and fruits, painted by Gio, da Udine did not reach to the 
cornice, as the design of the painting required, but there remained 
a breadth of two or three palms to be painted, in order to make the 
festoon rest upon the cornice. The Lunettes also of the interior 
wall, opposite to the arches of the Loggia, were not painted, and 
were covered with the white priming only, and this white, added to 
that of the whole of the wall, below the cornice, produced a very 
great discordance with the roof, which was so beautifiilly painted, 
and made those beautiful figures appear crude and almost unpleasant 
to the eye. Now, however, these festoons are complete, and are 
continued to the top of the cornice ; the before mentioned lunettes 
are also painted, imitating the spaces between the arches on the 
other side, (so beautifully painted by Gio. da Udine,) and the per- 
spective appearance of the windows, and the cornices which close 
the above-mentioned arches. Besides, all that part, which extends 
^om the cornice to the ground, has been painted over to imitate 
»mple architectural designs, without figures, in order to preserve 
the effect of the roof above it. This work, which was always 
superintended by the great genius of Sig. Carlo Maratti has been 
wonderfully executed by Sig, Domenico Paradisi, and Sig. Giuseppe 
BeUetti. And in order that this Loggia might become a perfect 
gallery, the two other doors of the four, which are seen at the top 
and bottom, have been opened; the door-posts are made of Africano, 


and the doors themselves made anew with veined nut wood, so that the 
whole agrees wonderfully together, and pleases the eye exceedingly. 
" Lastly, we must not omit to speak of the restorations which were 
also made, on this occasion, to the contiguous Loggia, which fEices 
the garden, and which was painted hy BakUusar da Siena, and 
SebasHano del Piombo; because as the priming of that roof had 
begun to drop off in small pieces, so as to leave a large blank space 
in the middle of it, where the figure of night had been pamted, 
it was strengthened by driving in seven hundred and thirty nails, 
and the proper restorations were made in this blank space ; fifty 
nails were also driven into the same wall, on the part where the 
splendid GakUhea of Rafiaelle is painted, to keep the priming better 
attached to the wall, and to give greater duration also to this 
splendid offspring of his divine pencil." 


N,B, — The Roman numerals rrfer to the preliminary inquiry on Colours, 

ABEZZO, Olto di, or Venice Turpen- 
tine, 56 
iEraca or iErugo, or Verdigris, 10 

and n.b. 
Agricola Georgias, his account of the 

HGematite and Schist, xviii, xix, 

and of the Coeruleo, xliv 
Alberti, Leon Batista, account of, 19 
directions and observations of, 
Albin, XT, xvi, xvii, n.a. xxii, xxvii, 

XXX, xxxiii, 65, 76, &c. 
Aldobrandini Marriage, account of 

the picture so called, 63, n.a. 
Alkalies, xl 
Almagra, xv, xvi, xvii, n.a. xviii, & 

n.a. 65, 66 
Aloes Cavallini, 110 
Alterations in fresoes, 57 
Amatito, xiii, xiv, xvi, xvii, xviii, 

xxii, xxiv, XXV, xxvii, xxviii 
Ampelite graphique, or Black Chalk, 

Annularia, 10, n.g. 
Arezzo, (city) paintings at, destroyed 

by the north wind, 118 
Armenian stone, xliv, xlvi, xlvii, 

Armenino, (Painter,) 
account of, 35, 36. 
directions and observations of, 
Arricciato, 19, 20, 24, 53, 92, &c. 
Ars Vitraria, 

A vrork by Neri, xxxii 
Aspertino, Amico, 

his curious and expeditious 
manner of painting, 103 
Atramentum, 9, & n.g. 
Azarcon or Red Lead, 9, 10 & n.a. 

Azul de Santo Domingo, 83 " 

Azul fino, xxxvi, I, 83 

Azul verde, xlvii, 83 

Azulo, xlvi 

Azzurri di Biadetti, 1. 

Azzurro deUa Magna, xxxvi, xli, xlii, 

xliii, xlviii, 25 
Azzurro di Smalto, xxxvi, xxxviii, 

Azzurro di Spagna, xlviii, xlix 
Azzurro di Vena Naturale, xxxvi, 

xlviii, xlix, 1 
Azzurro Oltramarino, xxxvi 

BAGLIONE, Cesare, 96, 97, 109 
Baldinucci, xxiv, 121 
Baldovinetti, Alesso, 121 
Begue, Jehan le, 18 
BeUori, Giovanni, Pietro, 

extract from, 122, &c. 
Betun, 8, n.d. 

Biacca or White Lead, 25, 39, & n.b. 
Biadetto, 60 

Bianco Sangiovanni, liv, 25 
Bianco secco, lii 
Bicci, Lorenzo de, 104, 114 
Bisso, xvii, n.a. 
Bistre or Fuligine, 59 
Bitumen, 59 
Black, xl, liii, 25, 32, 33, 44, 50, 59, 

63 & n.a. 79 
Black Chalk, or Matita Nera, xvii, 

n.b. liii. 
Black Lead, or Lapis Nero, 39, 51 
Blanco de cal, 79-81 
Bleu de Montagne, or Earthy Azure 

Copper Ore, xlv. 
Bloodstone, xxii, xxiii, & n.a. 
Blue, Armenian, xxxii. 
Blue green, or Verde Azzurro, 60, 

vide also Verde Azzurro 



Blue Ochre of Copper, or Earthy 

Azure Copper Ore, xlv 
Bol d 'Espag^e, xzxii 
Bole, Armenian, xx, xxxiii, xxxiv 
Borax, 9 and n.f 
Borghini, xxiv, 

account of, 33 

directions of, 33 
Brazil Wood, 

lake from, 60 
Brick, pounded, 4, &n.c. 116, & n.a. 
Bricks of Pisa, 116 

manner of imitating, 31, 50 
Broom, Spanish, 

used in preparing roofs, 3 
Brunelleschi, 19 

Bruno d'Inghilterra, xxvi,xxxii. 58 
Brushes, 25, 29, n.a. 44, 67, & n.a. 

Buonarotti, Michael Angelo, 100, 101 

CAMBIASO, Luca, 47, & n.a. 

possessed a hlue which has 

proved permanent in fresco, I 

Cane, (long,) used for drawing, 29, 

& n.a. 
Carbone Apissa, xvii, n.b. 
Carducci, the painters, 67 & n.b. 

explanation of term, 56 
Carlone, Gioyanni, & Giovanni Ba- 
tista, 106, 107, & n.a. 
Carracci, xxxv, 95, 96, 107, 
Carracci, gallery of the, 122, 123, &c. 
Cartoons, 24, 27, 28, 30, 36, 37, 38, 

54, 62, n.a. 73, & n.a. 93, 96 
Cavallini, Pietro, 108 
Cavallini, Aloes, 110 
Cavidone, Giacomo, 106 
Ceilings, 18, 92 

Cellini, Benvenuto, xxiii, xxxii 
Cendres Bleues, I 
Cennino Cennini, xxiv, 24 & n a. 

directions of, 24 

description of a fresco at, 102, 
Cespedes, 62, and n.a. 
Chalk Black, or Matata nera xvii, n.b. 
Chapel Sistine, 

how, when, and by whom pain- 
ted, 100-102 
Charcoid, used for drawing, 24, 28, 

29, 32, 38, 73, n.a. 74 
Chiaro-scuro painting, 31, 32, 50 

Chrysocola, xliii, xliv, li, 9, & n.f. 
Cinabrese or Sinopia, 25 
Cinabro or Vermilion, vide Vermilion 
Cinnabar, Mineral, xiv, xxv, & n.a. 

xxvi. xxvii 
Cinnabar, Artificial, xxv 
Clay, models of, 29 

used for the grounds of paint- 
ings in fresco, 32, 50, various 
kinds of, used as colours, 32 
Cobalt, xxxv, xliii 
Cceruleum, xxxvi, xxxvii, xxxviii, xl, 

xliv, xlvii 

directions for using, &c. xi, liv, 
Iv, 17, 18, 22, 25, 31, 34, 40, 
42, 43, 57, 76, 88 
Blue, xxxiv, li, 34, 42, 59, 60, 

100, 106, 108 
Red, xiii, xxxiv 
Green, li 
Black, liil 
White, liii, liv 
Yellow, liv 
Brown, liv 

Natural, xi, xiii, 8, 9, 22, 76 
Artificial, 8, 9, 10, 11,22 
Mineral, 22, 31, 34, &c. 
Vitrified, 23 
Calcined, 76 
Earthy, 88 
Copper, Carbonate of, 9, n.f. 
Blue Ochre of, xlv 
Native Blue, Carbonate of, xliv, 
xlv, xlvii, xlvUi, 1, and n.a. 
Copper ore, Earthy Azure, xlv 
Crayons, xxxiii, 56, 57 
Creta Verde, 9 

Cupola, how to be painted, 85 
Cyaneum, xliii, xliv, xlviii 

DAMP, how ceilings are preserved 

from, 92 
Davy, Sir Humphrey, his recipe for 

repairing the Coeruleum, xxxvii 
De Re iEdificatoria, 

a work by Vitruvius, 19 
Designs, 27, 88 

Diary of Jacopo daPontormo, 111. 
Distemper, known to Theophilus, 18, 

see also retouching 
Diversarum Artium Schedula, a work 

by Theophilus, 17 
Doves, dung of, 10 
Dragante, 34 
Drapery, 17, 25, 26 
Drawings, perspective, the use of, 27 
manner of making, 28, 29 



Dutch Pink, 10 n.e. 

EARTHS, liii, 31, 34, 88, &c. 

used in painting, 31, 34, 88, &c. 
Burnt Yellow, or Terra Gialla 
Abbrucciata, 44, 58 
Ecume de mer, 9 n.b. 
Egg, used as a Tempera, 18, 25, 26, 

31, 51, 83, &c. 
Emantes or purpurinus, xvi, xziii 
Emate, xxiii 
Endigo, vide Indigo 
Eraclius, xv and n.b. 
Esmalte, xzzvi, 65, 78 

FABIUS, Pictor, 

paintings by, 63, 64 
Ferret, xix, xxxii 
Ferretta di Spagna, xxvii, xxxii 
Fig juice, 

used as a tempera, 25, 26, 34, 
Finger, used in softening the colours 

in f^sco, 56 
Flesh colour, 25, 44, 82 
Floats of wood, 22 
Folium, 18 and n.c. 
Foreshortening, 84 
Fresco, 18, 30, 31, 44, 62, 63, 64, 
68, 70, 91, 117, 121, 122 
colours used in, xi, &c. 
practice of, 24, 26, 30, 31, 87, 

91, &c. 
extracts relative to, 91, &c. 
Frescoes, 95, 96, 97, 104, 105, 120 
ancient, 91, &c. 
instances of the durability of, 

causes of the destruction of, 

115, &c. 
cleaning, Retouching, and Re- 
pairing, 119, &c. 
Fuligine, 59 

GADDI, the, 

their manner of painting, 21 

his manner of making Cartoons, 
98, 102, 103 
Gems, factitious, 23, n.a. 
Genuli, 65 

Gesso, 20, 21, 22, 39, 53, 116, & n.a. 
Gesso da Oro, 11, n.c. 
Gesso da Sarti, 39, and n.c. 
Giallolino di Fomace, 59 

di NapoU, 59 

French, 60 
Giallorino, 25 

Giallo Santo, 60, 99 

his manner of painting, 24, 98, 99 

Glass called vaXoy or hyalon, 10. n.f. 

Glass Blues, 59, 60 

Glue, xlii, 9, n.g, 34, 51, 63 

Gold,xlii, 98, 110 

Granire, 54 

Grata, 54, n.a. 

Graticola, 24, 37, &c. 

Graticolare, 24, 37, n.b. 54, n.a.b.c. 

Greens, 17, 18 

Grotesque painting, 63 

Guado, 10 n.e. 


account of, 1 

directions and observations of, 2 
Gum Arabic, 56 
Gums, 28, 31, 51, 120 
Gum tragacanth, 34, 120 
Gypsum, or Gesso, 39 n.a. 

Hess, Professor, 

used oxides of Iron for red pig- 
ments in fresco, xxviii 

Hoematiti, xix, xx, xxviii, xxxiii 
different names of, xiv, xxii 
descriptions of, xviii, xxii 
localities of, xix, xx, xxi, xxxiv 
uses of, xxii, xxiii, xxiv 

Honey of the plasterers, 8 and n.b. 
11 and n.c. 

Homaza, 78, 83 

Hyalon, xxxvii, 10, n.f. 

IGNOTO, xlix, 78 and n.b. 

Impastare, 56 

Indicam, xl 

Indigo, xxxvii, 4, 60 and n.b. 

Ink, mixed with water, used for 

glazing paper, 28 
Intonaco, preparation and use of, 19, 

20, 22, 24, 33, 53, 91, 92, &c. 
Iron, Sulphate of, xxvii, xxviii, 58 

and n.a. 

different names of, xxvii, xxviii 
Iron, Oxides of, xxviii 
Iron Stone, fibrous red, xx 
Isodorus, quoted, xv and n.b. 

LAKE, xi, XV, 25, 49, 50, 60, &c. 
Lapis Amatista, xiii 

Amatito, xiv, xxii 

Armenus, xliu 

duro, xvii n.b. 

Haematites, xx 

Lazuli, xlvii, xlviii 

Nero, 38 and n.c. 



Lapis Rosso, 28 

Roxo, xvii and n.b. 

Sanguinaiius, xxii, xxiii 
Leek Green, 60 
Lime, 17, 18, 21, n.a. &c. 

White, Flower of, 23 
Lime Roman, 101 
Lime Water, 

colours mixed with, 15, &c. 
Loggia of Sebastian del Piombo, 127 
Loggia of Raffaello, 122, &c. 
Lumina, 17 and n.e. 
Lutea, 10 and n.e. 

MADDER, 10 and n.d. 
Magnesia, Carbonate of, 9, n.b. 
Majolica, xxxi and n.a. 
Majorica, xvii and n.b. xxvii. 
Malachite, lii, 9, n.f. 
Manganese, xxxiii 
Marble Dnst, 5 and n.b, 67, 80 
Martin John, directions of, 87 
Mastic, 22 
Mastrice, 8 n.d. 
Matita, xiv, xvii n.b. 

Dura, xxiv 

Nera, xiv, xv, xvii, n.b, 

Rossa, xiv, xxiv, xxvii 
Meerschaum, 9 n.b. 
Melinum, 9 and n.e. 
Membrana, 1 7 and n.c. 
Menesch, 18 and n.c. 
Michael Angelo, 

his manner of painting, 100, 
101, 102 
Milk, 7 and n.a, 78 
Milk of Goats, 78 
Milto, XXX 
Minever hair, 51 
Minio, 25 
Minium, xv 
Models of clay, 29 
Morello di Sale, 60 
Mouldiness, how cured, 101 
Mountain Blue, xiv 

NAILS, for Cartoons, &c. 3 n.d, 74, 

87,122, &c. 
Naples Yellow, liv, 25, 59 
Negro de bano, 65 
de Carbon, 65 
de humo, 63 and n.a. 
Nero di Schiuma di ferro, liii 
di Terra di Camj)ane, liii 
Nitre, has eaten up the blues in 
fresco, xxxvi, xi 

where it had appeared, Giordano 
used a tempera of egg, xl, 

OCCHEJA, 50 n.a. 

Ochre, xxxiii, 8, 9 and n.h, 17, 32, 
58, 59, 64, 77 

Oil, used vrith wax and mastic for 
anointing the motar on walls, 22 
Linseed, all colours can be mixed 
with, 22 

Ointment, for anointing walls, 22 

Ongaro, xiv and n.a. 

Orpiment, 9, 17, 25, 60, &c. 
native, 9 and n.d. 

Ostrum, 10 and n.c. 

Outlines, 25, 28, 30, 33, 55 

Ox-hairs, 87 n.a, 88 

PABONAZO, vide Pavonazo 
Pacheco, account of, 61 

directions 1 observations of, 62 
quotes from Cespedes, 62 
Painters, ancient, used wax for paint- 
ing ships, 22 

enquiry whether they painted in 

fresco 13 n.a, 62 
were acquainted with wax paint- 
ing, 91 
of about the 15th century, their 
curious manner of painting, 
Paleta, 7 n.b. 
Palettes, different kinds of, 55 and 

n.b, 81 
Palomino, Don Acisclo Antonio, de 
Castro y Velasco, 
account of, 69 
directions of, 70 
Paper, Tinted, drawings executed on, 

28, 39 
Pardo, Palazzo del, frescoes, in, 75 
Paretonium, 9 n.b. 
Pasta verde, 59 
Paste, uses of, 28, 63 
Pavia, pictures in the Castle of, 93 n.a, 
Pavonazo, xv, xvi, xxvii, xxxi, xxxiii, 

50, 76, 77 
Pavonazzo di Sale, 109 and n.a. 
Pebbles, White, 11 

used in preparing walls, 6 
Pen, uses of, 28 
Pencils, 67 and n.a. 
Perspective, Aerial, 29 
Pietra Ccerulea, xlvii 
Pietra nera, 28 

Pisano, discussion concerning, 93 n«a. 
Plaster, vide Intonaco, Rinzaffalo, 

Arricciato, Stucco, &c. 
Pliny, quotations from, 53, &c. 
Point of Iron, 

used by Giotto for the finishing 
the darks in blue drapery, 26 



Pontorno, Jacopo di, diary of, 1 1 l»&c. 
Ponz, AntoniOy wrote the notes to 

Guevara, I, 2, &c. 
Posch, 17 and n.b. 
Pouncing, 55, 74 
Pozzo, Andrea, 
account of, 52 

directions and observations of, 
53, &c. 
Pozzolana, 53 
Prasinus, 17 and n.a. 
Purple, the Tyrian, 10 n.c. 
Purpurinus, zvi 
Purpurissum, xl 

extract from, lui 

RASA Acquadi, 56 
Red chalk, xxxiii 

crayons of, xxxiii 
Red Earth, vide Terra Rosa 
Red Lead, 10 and n. a 
Reseda Luteola, 10 n. e, 42 
Rete, 24, 29 
Retouching, 26, 31, 34, 50, 51, 56, 

66, 67, 119, &c. 
Riposo, II, of Borghini, 33 
Rinzaffalo, directions for preparing, 

19, 20, &c. 
Roofs, preparation of, 2, 3, &c 
Rope, old, 

mixed with the Intonaco, 22 
Rosa, 17 and n. d 
Rossetta dlnghilterra, 58 
Roug^ Violet, xxix, xv 
Rubia, 10 and n.d 
Ruddle, xxxiii 
Rnbrica, xviii, xxix 
Rubrum, 17, n.b. 
Rushes used in preparing roofs, 38, 

and n.c. 

SAND used in preparing the stucco, 

21, &c. 
Sandarac, natural, 9 and n.d. 
Sanguine, xxiii and n.a. 
Sap Green, 59 
Scaffolds, 86 
Scaglia di Ferro, xxiv 

description of, xviii, xix, xx 

localities of, xix 

different names of, xix 
Schiste a dessiner, liii 
School, early Italian 

practice of the, 91 
School, Spanish 

practice of the, 66, n.b. 

Sedge, bruised 

brashes made of, 75 
Selinusian or Annularian Chalk, 

XXX vii 
Sfumare, 56 

sn, 9 

Sil Atticum, 9 and n.e. 
Silver used in cartoons, 88 
Sinopia, xxvii, xxix, xxx, and n.b. 

xxxi, xxxiii, xxxiv, 8,9, and n.a. 
Sirocco, 116, 117, 118, &c. 
Sketches, 27 
Smaltino, xxxvi, xxxviii, xxxiz, 10 

Smalt, 42, 45 
Smalto, xxxvi, xxxviii, xxxix, and 

Soap, white, 22 
Softening, 56 
Sombra del Viejo, 76, 77, 78 

de Venecia, 76, 77 
Sphragis, xxx 
Stucco or Mortar, 71, 87, &c. 

TALC, white, 83 and n.a. 
Tarea, a day's work, 71 
Terra di Campane, 44 

Eretria, 10 

Gialla Abbrucciata, 44, 58 

Nera di Venezia. liii, 58, 59 

Nera di Roma, liii, 59 

Nera di Piedmonte, liii 

Rosa, xxxiii, 43 

Rossa d'Inghilterra, xxvii 

Selemnnsia, xxxvii 

Sigillata, xxx 

Sinopide, xix 

Verde, 44, 59, 65, 76, 77 
Tcrretta, 31 
Tempera, 25, 26, 34 
Theophilus, the Monk, account of, 1 7 

directions of, 17, 18 
Tierra Negra, 76, 77, 78 
Tierra Roxa, 76 
Tierra Verde, 76, 77, 78 
Tiglio, xvi, n.a. 

Tracing with the stile, 30, 33, 55 
Tramontana, 114, 115, 116, &c. 
Travertine, calcined, 31, 32, 34 

Lime from, 101 
Trusilar, 4 

Turpentine, Venice, used for re* 
rouching frescoes, 56 

ULTRAMARINE, xzxv, zlvii, 1, 18, 
60, n.a. 83, 109 



Ultramarine, French, 1 
Umber, xvii, n.b. liv, 44, 59 

VARGAS, Luis de, 68, n.a. 
Vara, a Spanish measure, 81, n.a. 
Varnishes, 56, 121 
Vasari, account of, 27 

directions of, 27 
Vehicle, 25, 26 
Vena, xvi, n.a. 
Veneda, xli, 18 
Venice, frescoes at, destroyed by the 

salt water, 117 
Verdaccio, 25, 99, 100 
Verdacho, li, lii, 65 
Verde Azzurro, xlvii, xlviii, 60 

Cardenillo, 10 and n.b. 

di Miniera, xlviii, lii 

di Verona, vide Terra verde 

Etemo, 99 

Granilla, 78 

Granillo, lii 

in Canna, 60 

Montaiia, li, lii, 65 & n.b. 77, 78 

Poro, 60, vide also Leek Green 
Verderame, 25 
Verdete, lii 
Verde Terra, 25, 59, vide also Terra 

Verdetto di Spagna, xlviii 
Verdetto, lii 

Verdigris, 10, n.b. 60, 99 
Vermilion, xl, xxvi, 9 and n.e. 17, 
25, 49, 58, 65, 76 

Verona, climate of, favorable to the 

preservation of frescoes, 118 
Vestorian Azure, xxxvi 
Vestorianum, xxxvi, xxxvii, xxxvHi, 

10, nJ. 
Violets, dried yellow, a colour made 

from, 10 
Vitriol, burnt Roman, xxvii, xxviii 
Vitruvius, directions and observations 
of, 2. &c. 
dates of the different editions of 

his works, xxxix. n.b. 
work by, 19 

WALLS, preparation of, 2, 3, 4, 15, 
17. 18, &c. 
Colours proper to be used on, 

17, &c 
Colours unfit to be used on, 17, 

Wax, 22, 91 

Whey, colours to be ground with, 87 

White, 25, 32, 43, 49,64 
from lime, 57, 64, 79 
from Carrara Marble, 57 
from Egg Shells, 57, 83 
Talc, 83 

White Lead, 13, n^. 28, 60 

Woad, 10, n.e. 

ZAFFRE, xxxix, xliu 






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